Belgian poultry farmers remain empty handed

09-05-2006 | |

The Flemish government in Belgium is not to make subsidies available to the poultry sector, which has suffered from market losses owing to bird flu fears, VRT news said.

Instead of direct financial compensation, the government intends to spend money on poultry promotion. Flemish Prime Minister Yves Leterme announced a € 300,000 budget for a media campaign to boost sales of poultry products and eggs.

Poultry farmers and traders in Flanders have estimated the recent anti-bird flu measures have cost the sector some € 60 million.

Unfounded consumer concerns have also hit the industry. Many people have avoided buying poultry products and eggs, out of fear of bird flu contamination.

Leterme is to investigate what level of financial support would be required in the event of an actual bird flu outbreak later this year.

The European Union had approved the introduction of subsidies for poultry farmers under the condition that the member states themselves meet half of the cost.

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