26 July 2000
Pig farmers await court case verdict
by FWi staff
THE pig farmer who instigated a court case against the Ministry of Agriculture will know on Thursday (27 July) if she is faced with a 55,000 bill.
Lincolnshire pig farmer Meryl Ward will find out whether she and other farmers have successfully sued the government for failing to aid the industry.
The farmers claim the Ministry of Agriculture should have applied to Brussels for compensation to stem losses arising out of measures designed to reduce BSE.
Mr Justice Richards is due give his verdict at 10.15am in a hearing held at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.
If the British Pig Industry Support Group (BPISG) wins the case, it says MAFF will be morally obliged to apply to Brussels for aid for pig farmers.
The group claims restrictions imposed to restrict BSE in farm animals costing farmers 5.26 per pig. Beef and dairy farmers have received compensation.
The BPISG raised over 100,000 to fund its case. But if the group loses, Ms Ward will be faced with a bill of 55,000 to cover MAFFs costs.
That is because MAFF lawyers insisted on securing its costs against the individuals who brought the case, including Mrs Ward who is named.
She hopes money could be raised throughout the whole industry, but joked that her husband would attend the court in case his cheque book was needed.