Belgian farmer expresses concern for 'famine'
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Farmers have criticised the European Union’s new eco-schemes for agriculture and branded them “not worth it”. The reforms encourage EU farmers to be greener through premiums which are handed out by Brussels. One farmer has warned of famine as the new measures cannot “feed everyone”.
Belgian farmer Dominique Lebrun told Euronews: “For me, it’s going much too fast and I’m not prepared for it. Yes, they explain it to us, but we need measures.
“We need to put it all in place and it’s a lot of changes, with budgets that are being cut back significantly. For our farm, we lose €10,000 from one year to the next.
“And we have compensation with the eco-regimes but the compensation will never make up for the loss of €10,000 because we will have lower yields and no one will pay us for the yields.”
She continued: “It’s not going to feed everyone. We still have to feed the world and food sovereignty is also essential because we have experienced the pandemic.
“If we experience a famine, what would happen? When we started the confinement, everyone came here to get my eggs.
“They used to line up here and people were afraid, they were afraid of food. It’s already forgotten.”
It comes as an environment minister has urged people to “Buy British” following a planned EU move to end a ban on farm feed made of animal remains introduced during the BSE crisis.
However, Tory frontbencher Lord Benyon moved to play down concerns about the action taken by Brussels in the face of calls at Westminster for a block on imports and warnings to be carried on products that they pose “a risk of mad cow disease”.
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Stressing there was no link to BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, he pointed out the changes by the bloc were in line with World Organisation for Animal Health feed rules and only applied to pigs and poultry.
The use of processed animal protein (PAP) in the feed of cattle and sheep was banned by the EU in 1994 in response to the BSE crisis that led to the slaughter of millions of cattle.
It was later extended to all farmed animals.
The EU changes, due to come into force in August, would permit chickens to be fed with PAP from pigs and vice versa, said Lord Benyon.
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It would also allow insect protein along with gelatine and collagen from ruminants, such as sheep and cattle, to be fed to both pigs and poultry.
A ban on the use of PAP in feed for cows and sheep remains in place.
Lord Benyon told Parliament the UK, which is no longer in the EU, was “assessing the implications of these changes”.
Labour peer Lord Sikka said: “Feeding animal remains – brains, spinal cord and small intestines – to livestock in pursuit of higher profits and executive bonuses will only lead to another health disaster.”
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