£4m support package announced for local livestock farmers

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced a £4million package of support for local livestock farmers. farmerThe funding, provided under the EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid, will enable livestock farmers, including milk producers, to apply for assistance to incentivise the humane destruction of BVD Persistently Infected (PI) calves within four weeks of an initial BVD test; improve pig meat quality; manage soils and nutrients more effectively; and receive training in business planning and risk management. Announcing the support package, Miss McIlveen said, “I am acutely aware of the extreme and prolonged difficulties faced by many of our livestock farmers over the past two years. “I am encouraged that dairy farmers have already had the opportunity to bid for EU aid to reduce their milk production, where that suited their particular business circumstances. Those farmers should receive a much-needed cash injection in the new year.
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30th-nov-2016-small-box“However, I want to be able to do more for all livestock farmers affected by the recent market turbulence and to help build a stronger, more sustainable and competitive industry for the future. “That is why I pressed for a favourable share of the UK Exceptional Adjustment Aid envelope and why I have decided to use our £4million allocation to fund measures that will support all eligible livestock sectors here, including milk producers.” The Minister continued, “In considering the measures to be implemented, I wanted to maximise the impact of the available money and ensure that it makes a meaningful difference to our industry going forward. My officials and I have consulted a range of key stakeholders in the sector to seek views on where the support could best be targeted. “The measures I am now announcing have been shaped by the feedback from that consultation. There was consensus around a number of these measures and I am confident that many local farmers will see tangible benefits as a result.” Article continues below: 2nd-dec-2016-big-boxThe Minister added, “I have asked my officials to work up the detail of these schemes for implementation as soon as possible and I will announce further details soon. In the meantime, I urge all dairy and beef farmers to continue to tag and test for BVD in line with the legislation and to continue to remove BVD PIs promptly in order to reduce the disease risks.” The UK allocation of aid is €30.2million (around £26.6million), of which Northern Ireland will receive €4.8million (around £4.07million).
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