The National Fallen Stock Company has successfully negotiated the continuation of the Over 48 month old cattle subsidy through to March 2010.
The scheme, which subsidises the collection of fallen cattle over 48 months of age for NFSCo members, was due to stop in GB at the end of December, and any remaining monies from the original £2m Government subsidy would then have been lost.
After negotiations with DEFRA, however, the scheme will continue for another three months. The level of subsidy pertaining each month will vary according to the degree of uptake. Michael Seals, chairman of NFSCo, estimates the level of subsidy will be around 20% for November through to February, falling to 10% in March. Since NFSCo took over the administration of the 048 month scheme from the RPA in January the cost of collection of fallen 048 animals has fallen considerably, with collective savings to the industry adding up to several million pounds due mainly to increased competition between collectors and the introduction of local tissue sampling for BSE surveillance by NFSCo Collectors.
“We are delighted DEFRA have agreed to extend the scheme until March,” says Mr Seals. “The transitional support has been a useful contribution to the cost of testing and disposing of adult fallen cattle, and I urge all farmers to take advantage of the help on offer over the next few months. DEFRA would have retained any unused money, so I pay credit to them for their commitment to continuing to help the livestock industry, at a time when the public purse is stretched to its limit.”
Farmers do not have to have their fallen stock picked-up via NFSCo, and can make their own arrangements. However, only those who use NFSCo’s services are eligible for the subsidy, emphasises Mr Seals. NFSCo no longer charges an annual membership fee and interested farmers should call 0845 054 8888.
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