NI: Pig producers seek dioxin compensation

12-05-2009 | |

Pig producers in Northern Ireland have lodged compensation claims against the feed supplier at the centre of the pork dioxin scare last December.

Two livestock farmers have lodged claims in the High Court and five more are expected to sue Millstream Recycling for heavy financial losses allegedly caused by the feed it supplied. Each claim is likely to be in excess of €1m.

The farmers, one of which is alleging negligence, the other claims breach of contract feel that they have been unfairly compensated for the loss of earnings.

Compensation for farmers
Compensation was paid out by the Stormont assembly to Northern Irish farmers who were affected by dioxin contamination but this appears not to have been proportionate to that received by farmers in the south. According to officials in Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, farmers received 75% of the value of livestock which had to be slaughtered.

But some farmers, including at least one involved in the legal action against Millstream, say the compensation was only equivalent to 25% of the losses they suffered.

No pigs were slaughtered in the north. In the republic, 170,000 pigs were also taken out of the food chain.

Irish pig farms
In Ireland 18 pig farms have received €9.57m in compensation, while €5.5m has been paid out to 49 cattle herd owners. This was part of a total of €180m paid by the government, the bulk of it going to meat processors.

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