HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 c426W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which EU countries will continue the calf processing assistance scheme after the EU directive expires; and what plans he has to continue assistance for calf processing after 30 November. [55876]

Mr. Rooker

We understand that France and Ireland will continue to operate the Calf Processing Aid Scheme after the obligation to do so lapses on 30 November; Portugal may also do so. As I made clear to the House on 26 October 1998,Official Report, column 89, the Government's current intention is that the Scheme will cease to operate in the United Kingdom as soon as the obligation lapses.

Mr. Jack

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement listing the steps necessary to reintroduce the calf processing aid scheme after it ends in November. [56094]

Mr. Rooker

[holding answer 27 October 1998]: The Government would first need to be persuaded that the continued slaughter of calves at taxpayers' expense would be in the best long-term interests of UK agriculture. Second, having no current financial provision for the continuation of the scheme, they would need to agree with the Treasury that funds could be made available. Finally, it would need to inform the Commission of its intention to reintroduce the scheme.