Monday, 4 June 2007

Problems with fallen stock

Fallen stock are those farm animals that die for whatever reason on a farm. Former practice was to dig a pit on ones farm away from a watercourse and bury the beast there but the BSE crisis caused a change in policy regarding this procedure. Under EU rules that came into effect some 18 months ago carcasses have to be rendered or incinerated. With the almost total eradication of BSE it might be thought that we could revert to the old far cheaper method but no.

There is an anomaly here: should the animal concerned be a horse, dog or cat then the ruling doesn't apply. And it seems that if you had an odd field with your property and kept a pet cow then probably again you would be outside the scheme. So it's all a bit of bureaucratic nonsense really.

When the EU edict came in the government paid a subsidy of about a third of the cost of disposal. Not unexpectedly that level of subsidy was not going to be maintained and it has now significantly lower at 10%! Some EU states reputedly pay all the farmers costs in removing fallen stock. Yet again British farmers are disadvantaged when compared with some of our neighbours.

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