HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c831W
Mr. Nicholas Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the conditions are for repayment attached to the loan to the Meat and Livestock Commission in respect of the welfare scheme which operated during the foot and mouth disease outbreak; and whether the loan has been repaid. [172683]

Mr. Bradshaw

The Pig Industry Development Scheme (PIDS) was initiated in March 2001 to establish an industry fund to help provide advice, services, facilities and financial assistance to British pig producers to assist with the prevention of exotic pig diseases such as Classical Swine Fever, and/or to help minimise their impact. Collection of this industry levy was delayed due to the foot and mouth disease outbreak of that year. In April 2001 the then MAFF and the Meat and Livestock Commission concluded a loan agreement to enable early payment of the industry top-up to producers.

Under the terms of the loan agreement, repayment, including interest, was due on 31 July 2003. However problems associated with the unforseen decline in pig slaughterings delayed the collection of the levy from pig producers to repay the loan. By mutual agreement the loan deadline was extended to 31 December 2003 and repayment was made by that date, including the interest to that date.

The PIDS levy on slaughterings was reduced to zero in August 2003; however the scheme is to remain open for the foreseeable future with the facility to increase the levy if required.

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