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UFU Comment on Discussions Regarding Dioxin Scare

by 5m Editor
16 January 2009, at 12:20pm

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has commented following the outcome of the Northern Ireland Executive meeting at which the plight of farmers and processors affected by the contaminated animal feed incident were discussed.

UFU President Graham Furey said, "Ministers have acknowledged that the farmers and food processors who stand to lose out financially because of the problems created by the pre-Christmas contaminated animal feed incident have a case for compensation. They have undertaken to continue to pursue compensation via the Republic of Ireland Government compensation scheme."

He added that they have not made any funding available from the Northern Ireland Executive to directly compensate local farmers or processors affected for their losses. "It remains a grave concern to us that at this point in time no confirmed compensation is available to the local farmers involved in this situation. We will continue our efforts to find a way to ensure any farmer inadvertently caught up in this situation is compensated fully and I would emphasise that this is a very traumatic situation for those farms and we do not want this issue to drag on indefinitely," said Mr Furey.

Referring to the Executives decision to introduce a scheme to allow for a free of charge culling and removal of the animals restricted on the affected farms, Mr Furey said, "The farmers have continued to feed and care for their animals since before Christmas and this will have been at considerable cost to their businesses. It has now been confirmed that these animals will not be allowed to enter the food chain. The farmers have been given the option to dispose of their animals through this culling scheme mechanism and we acknowledge the efforts by the Executive to fund this. However this remains a very difficult situation for the farmers involved, given that as things stand they will be giving up their animals, with no guarantee that they will be compensated for their value."