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Weekly Overview: European Farmers Await Outcome of Meeting Over Low Pork Prices

7 September 2015, at 6:00am

ANALYSIS - A European Council meeting is to take place today (7 September) to discuss the low pork prices in the EU markets which are causing financial difficulties for many farmers. The low prices of milk and lamb will also be discussed.

In preparation for the meeting, Ministers and farmers' organisations have been busy coming up with possible measures to improve the situation.

Measures include expanding private storage aid, promoting meat products more extensively and improved labelling and traceability to allow shoppers to support local farmers.

In France, where pig farmers have been protesting about the low prices, Agriculture Minister St├ęphan Le Foll has called for a working party to identify and monitor the different contracts for pig farmers governing prices and to implement changes.

The minister also indicated that any support funds related to contracts that were put in place to help the farmers could benefit from tax exemptions.

In disease news, there have been further cases of African Swine Fever reported on pig farms in Kenya, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia.

An outbreak also occurred in a wild boar in Poland.

There has also been a confirmed case of MRSA on a pig farm in Rogaland, Norway.

In the US, pig farmers are being advised to look out for signs of Seneca Valley Virus, which appears similar to Foot and Mouth Disease, as cases have been identified regionally this summer.

In other news, the US has opened its doors to pork and other meat products from Lithuania.