Support programme for pig producers unveiled
On Friday last, the government announced a programme of
assistance for pig farmers in the East Austrian region of
Measures promoting animal welfare and meat quality will be brought in. The
requirement for participating in the programme is membership of the animal
health service of the region Burgenland (Burgenländischer
Farmers in the area have been suffering badly from low prices and high feed
costs like their European counterparts. Around €100,000 has been put aside from
the Austrian agricultural budget for the new programme.
The number of producers has decreased significantly from 12,000 operations in
1998 to around 1,200 currently with around 70,000 animals each. International
competition has also left its mark on Austrian farmers.
The so-called European Union initiative 'ELER Programme' which promotes the
keeping of animals in their natural environment should secure the practice of
pig farming. Demand for natural pork is rising among consumers. Farmers
producing natural meat receive around €280 for a pig of 100kg, whereas a pig
raised on conventional methods earns €130.
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