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Polish pig-farmers to get swine fever compensation

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 07.03.2014 10:41
Minister of Agriculture Stanislaw Kalemba has confirmed that compensation for Polish pig-farmers caught up in the African Swine Fever crisis will be co-financed by the EU and Poland.

Minister of Agriculture Stanislaw Kalemba in Brussels on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymanski

However, compensation will only be given to pig-farmers in the buffer zone created last month along the border with Belarus and Lithuania, where cases of ASF were detected.

“We want to get this under way as soon as possible,” Kalemba told reporters after a meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels on Thursday.

“The compensation will be 50 percent from European Union, and 50 percent from European resources.”

Russia introduced an embargo on EU pork products on 29 January, with cases of ASF emerging in wild boars in Lithuania and Poland, near the Belarusian border.

Poland is one of the biggest EU exporters of pork, and farmers have been selling products for lower prices since the outbreak was detected.

The compensation will cover the differences in sale prices, with farmers obliged to provide documentation of each sale.

The EU claims that Russia's response was “disproportionate”, with Health Commissioner Tonio Borg arguing that in all likelihood, the outbreak occurred in Belarus, and not within the EU.

Negotiations are ongoing about lifting the ban, with the EU arguing that at the very least, the embargo should only concern the areas where the outbreak was detected. However, it remains unclear whether entire countries will be classed as areas affected by the outbreak.

ASF is not harmful to humans, but it it one of the most devastating diseases for pigs.

Since Russia's ban, China has also blocked imports of Polish pork. (nh)

Source: IAR. PAP

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