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DEFRA announces extension on fallen stock disposal scheme

by 5m Editor
19 May 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley has announced an extension for farmers to register an interest in joining the national fallen stock collection and disposal scheme.

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Farmers will now have until May 28 to respond to the letters sent out to 111,000 producers in England.

Defra needs more than 50 per cent of farmers to register their support in order for the scheme to be viable, but so far the response has been disappointing.

The disposal scheme has been proposed to help farmers meet the provisions of the EU Animal By-Products Regulation. The purpose of the Regulation is to protect animal and public health. It is based on a number of opinions of the EU Scientific Steering Committee which addressed the risk to animal and public health from certain uses or disposal methods for animal by-products. These were primarily concerned with the risks from BSE, but also took account of the risks from other pathogens that may potentially be introduced or spread by animal by-products.

Giving evidence to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs select committee on the implementation of the Regulation yesterday, Mr Morley said he was surprised by the limited response from farmers.

"We have so far only had 30 per cent of livestock farmers indicating that they would like to join the scheme, and that is inadequate. The NFU has asked, and I have accepted, that we should extend the deadline by another two weeks to see if enough farmers will support the scheme to make it viable.

"I am surprised by the response so far, particularly as we have had wide support from industry stakeholders, who believe this is an exceptionally good deal, which offers considerable savings to farmers. I must repeat that if we do not get 50 per cent of support, the subscription scheme will not go ahead."

Source: DEFRA - 15th May 2003

5m Editor