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From: TSS ()
Subject: COMMISSION AGREES LIMITED VOLUNTARY COMPENSATION SCHEME (BSE EU)
Date: May 26, 2005 at 8:29 pm PST

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Date: May 26, 2005 Time: 18:15
COMMISSION AGREES LIMITED VOLUNTARY COMPENSATION SCHEME

The European Commission has signalled its intention to part-fund a voluntary compensation scheme for farmers once UK ministers have agreed that the Over Thirty Months Rule can be replaced with a new robust testing regime for cattle.

The arrangements will apply only to animals born before August 1996 which will still be banned from the food chain and will be designed to help farmers adapt to changes associated with the end of the OTMS.

Defra and the devolved Administrations welcomed the Commission's decision to introduce the scheme which they have indicated will run for three years.

A three year scheme will enable producers to dispose of their older stock in a more managed way than would have been possible with a shorter-term scheme

The UK Government announced in December last year the start of a managed transition towards the lifting of the OTM Rule and its replacement with a system of robust testing of cattle for BSE.

Good progress is being made but any changes to the Rule are unlikely to come into effect until later in the year. The new scheme would start at that point.

The UK Government, the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority agree that all cattle born before August 1996 should be permanently excluded from the food chain.

Ben Bradshaw, minister for animal health, said: "This is very welcome news but we need to bear in mind that there are still a number of hurdles to get over before the Scheme is fully secured.

"Farmers will need to make their own decisions in planning their herd replacement policy in the light of this new information.

"In the meantime we will ensure industry organisations will be kept fully informed of progress in the development of the new Scheme over the coming months."

Note for editors:

* The Over Thirty Months Scheme was introduced in May 1996 as a market support measure to remove cattle from the market and pay compensation to producers for cattle over thirty months of age that could no longer enter the food chain as a result of the domestic Over Thirty Month Rule. Over 7.2 million cattle have so far been slaughtered under the OTMS at a total cost of almost £3.7 billion since 1996. The annual cost is about £300million.

* A new Scheme to remove cattle born before 1 August 1996 would replace the OTMS and provide a safe mechanism for ensuring that these animals are disposed of safely and farmers adequately compensated.

* While the Commission's response is positive, there are still regulatory procedures to be followed in Brussels before the exact terms of the new Scheme can be agreed and finalised. Defra will keep the industry informed of progress.

Public enquiries 08459 335577;
Press notices are available on our website
www.defra.gov.uk
Defra's aim is sustainable development

End

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Website www.defra.gov.uk

http://www.wired-gov.net/WGLaunch.aspx?ARTCL=31754&ALERT_TYPE=15

Greetings,

> with a new robust testing regime for cattle

robust is defined as strong and healthy and rugged. how can a weakening of a testing regime be defined as 'robust'?

> The European Commission has signalled its intention to part-fund a voluntary compensation scheme for farmers once UK

> ministers have agreed that the Over Thirty Months Rule can be replaced with a new robust testing regime for cattle.

so if everyone agrees to the weaking of this program, the EU will help fund it. what have i missed here?

TSS

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