A call to arms

Poultry farmers are being called to action by the NFU to try and get MPs to give a three-year waiver on costs for the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations (IPPC).

The NFU, the British Poultry Council and the British Egg Industry Council are united in calling for permit charges and the annual subsistence fee to be waived for three years. Farmers are being encouraged to call on their MPs and write or speak to Lord Rooker, the minister responsibe for sustainable farming and food.

NFU poultry board chairman Charles Bourns said: "By refusing to apply for EU financial assistance towards the £58m that avian influenza has so far cost poultry farmers, the government has left the industry in a situation where it simply cannot afford to pay the IPPC charges.

"The government's failure to support the claim cost poultry farmers at least £8m in EU support. And what really rubbed salt in the wounds was the fact they actually supported compensation for poultry farmers in 14 other EU member states. This was on top of damage to our market as surplus meat entered from Europe. The government keeps talking about supporting sustainable farming businesses.

"Well, this is the time to act and support British poultry farmers who receive nothing in subsidies but continue to provide fresh quality produce for consumers."

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