MEPs publish CAP reports
THE reform of EU farm policy moved a step closer last week with the publication of the European Parliament’s four draft reports amending the European Commission’s CAP proposals which were published in October 2011.
NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond was in Strasbourg to meet the UK’s lead MEPs on agriculture to re-emphasise the NFU’s priorities for a common, simple, competitive and market orientated policy. Mr Raymond also met with the agriculture committee chairman Paolo De Castro and direct payments rapporteur Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos.
The four reports – direct payments, rural development, financing and monitoring, and the single CMO – have been formally presented to MEPs on the agriculture committee this week (Monday and Tuesday). MEPs on the agriculture committee now have until July 9 and 10 to submit their amendments to the Commission proposals.
Schmallenberg virus could
re-emerge in 2013
The EU’s Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has warned that the Schmallenberg virus that caused abortions of lambs and calves on 3,745 holdings in Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain and the UK in 2011 and 2012 could re-emerge in 2013.
EFSA has done an assessment of the impact of the midge-borne virus and an analysis of the epidemiological data. It said the probability of the virus surviving the winter is difficult to assess, but added it could hit more southerly and easterly regions of the EU if it re-emerges in 2013. EFSA claimed that re-emergence of the virus would most likely occur between mid-April and the end of May 2013, potentially affecting a similar number of holdings as the recent outbreak.
The virus has affected up to 4% of sheep numbers and 2% of cattle in member states reporting the virus, EFSA said. The EU agency was quick to stress that there is no evidence of any other route of transmission other than from mother to offspring through the placenta or vector borne routes (midges).
UK bottom of renewable
The UK is one of Europe’s worst performers on renewable energy according to recent figures published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.
The UK’s share of renewable energy was 3.2 per cent in 2010 compared to an EU average of 12.4 per cent. Overall the UK is ranked 25 out of 27 member states. Sweden was the best performer with 47.9 per cent of all energy use from a renewable source in 2010. Latvia (32.6%), Finland (32.2%), Austria (30.1%) and Portugal (24.6%) were also at the top of the table. Joining the UK at the bottom of the class were Malta (0.4%), Luxembourg (2.8%) and the Netherlands (3.8%).
The UK target is to ensure 15 per cent of all energy is from a renewable source by 2020.
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Weather for Belfast
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South