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NFUS Spells Out Next Steps in FMD Compensation Fight
27/10/07

Following on from the announcement this week by the Scottish Government of an emergency aid package for farmers, Scotland’s farm union has spelt out the next steps in the fight for full foot and mouth compensation.

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Stressing that the Scottish Government aid is hugely important in providing immediate financial support, NFU Scotland is setting out action it is now taking at a political, legal and supermarket level to address the wider financial crisis. This action includes:

  • Approaching, the UK Government with the case for full compensation. This will include the compensation case for other sectors of the rural economy affected, such as hauliers, auctioneers and meat processors;
  • Discussing with Scottish Government the urgent need to use unspent funding within the current aid package to address the financial crisis in the pig industry;
  • Securing a commitment from Scottish Government that support under the Single farm Payment and Less Favoured Area Support Scheme as soon as possible;
  • Meeting legal advisors again today to explore options to pursue compensation through the courts;
  • Writing to the major supermarkets demanding an explanation as why the retail price of lamb has risen during the FMD outbreak, whilst prices to farmers have collapsed.

NFUS President Jim McLaren said:

“This week’s aid package from the Scottish Government was welcome as it was critically important to inject at least some money into farm businesses that are staring into the abyss. We still believe that the £25 million can be further refined to hit the right targets. In particular, there will be money unspent within the sheep welfare scheme; that must be used to address the crisis in the pig industry. A headage payment on breeding pigs could help save that herd.

“I am crystal clear that we must take Scotland’s case back to Westminster. I do not want to waste a minute being used as a political football. We simply need a compensation package and we have been told that Treasury’s door is open to approaches in exceptional circumstances and once the full picture is better known. The door was closed on us regarding immediate financial aid but the industry and Scottish Government must now progress a dialogue with the Treasury on a wider compensation package.

“This is not just about the huge losses farmers have faced through no fault of their own. It is about the whole rural economy, which has taken a battering. Hauliers, processors and auctioneers are just some of the other groups for whom government must be responsible.

link Farming Union Welcomes Lifting of Restrictions
link Scottish Farmers Meeting Benn Over FMD Compensation
link Tenant Farming Forum Launches New Entrants Consultation

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