The Executive has agreed the basis for an urgent approach to DEFRA and the EU Commission for approval and possible co-funding for proposed measures to deal with the consequences of the recent dioxin-contaminated feed incident.
Speaking after the Executive meeting, Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA said: "The actions taken to best protect consumers and the future of our important markets at home and abroad have had financial implications for some farmers and processors. The Executive's decision today recognises this, extending a level of financial hardship assistance to those affected amounting up to 25% of the direct verifiable costs incurred or 25% of the value of the animal. Taking account of the significant pressures on the Executive budget, this was the best outcome that we could achieve at the meeting. This hardship assistance is in addition to the voluntary cull and disposal scheme we agreed at our Executive meeting on 15 January 2009.
"The relevant departments will consider the practical out-workings and conditions of the Voluntary Cull and Disposal Scheme and the financial hardship assistance package.
"We now need to work with DEFRA in urgently securing the EU Commission's approval for these measures and on seeking EU co-funding support."