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EU Agrees to Aid Poultry Farmers

by 5m Editor
26 April 2006, at 12:00am

EU - European Union agriculture ministers today approved a European Commission proposal to allow the EU budget to share the cost of market support measures in the eggs and poultry sector.

EU Agrees to Aid Poultry Farmers - EU - European Union agriculture ministers today approved a European Commission proposal to allow the EU budget to share the cost of market support measures in the eggs and poultry sector.

This measure, introduced because of the negative market impact of the avian flu crisis, will allow the co-financing of 50 percent of the cost of market support measures linked to a drop in consumption and prices of eggs and poultry. Once it has been published in the Official Journal in the coming days, Member States will be able to submit proposed market support measures to the Commission for approval, subject to a vote in the management committee for eggs and poultry.

“I would like to thank agriculture ministers and the European Parliament for approving this proposal so quickly,” said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. “Some countries have suffered a serious drop in consumption and prices in the poultry sector which could not be adequately compensated with the existing tools. Thanks to today’s agreement, Member States who so wish will be able to design measures best suited to their own particular situation. I hope these measures will be proportionate to the problems they face. In my view, the most sensible approach would be to compensate farmers for measures which temporarily reduce production.”

Background:

Since the beginning of the recent avian flu crisis, consumption of poultry and eggs has fallen dramatically in some Member States, leading to a sharp reduction in prices. Up to now, the regulations governing the eggs and poultry market allowed the EU to co-finance compensation measures only in cases where there was a case of avian flu on a farm or where farmers were prevented from moving their poultry because of restrictions imposed on veterinary orders. There was no possibility to provide EU aid to take account of market problems linked to a fall in sales caused by a loss of consumer confidence. Because of the gravity of the current market crisis in some countries, the Commission proposed to co-finance 50 percent of market support measures, with national budgets paying the other half.

Regulations 2771/75 and 2777/75 provide the legal basis for support measures in the eggs and poultry sector. Until now, the only market support measures provided for in the regulations were export refunds.

Today’s agreement extends the scope of Article 14 of both Regulations, which previously allowed for a) the 50 percent co-financing from the EU budget of veterinary measures (such as slaughtering of chickens) and b) the 50 percent co-financing of compensation for animal movement restrictions resulting from an outbreak of animal disease on a farm on the territory of the EU.

The revised regulations will allow exceptional market measures to be taken at the request of Member States, to take account of serious market disturbances directly attributed to a loss in consumer confidence due to public health, or animal health risks.

Once Member States submit their proposed measures, the Commission will have to approve them through the Management Committee procedure.

Source: European Commission - 25th April 2006

5m Editor