EU to compensate Italian farmers for avian influenza losses

The Commission will provide €46.7 million
calendar icon 12 February 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Following a positive vote by Member States, the Commission has agreed to provide €46.7 million to Italy to help compensate farmers in areas affected by outbreaks of avian influenza. Financed by the agricultural reserve, the payments must be made to farmers by 30 September 2024.

Between 1 January 2022 and 30 April 2022, 23 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5 were confirmed and notified by Italy. The species affected were chickens, laying hens, turkeys, ducks and Guinea fowls. Italy immediately and efficiently took all the necessary animal health and veterinary measures, including control, monitoring and preventive measures. Protection and surveillance zones were established. This led to a loss of production of hatching eggs, table eggs and live animals in the farms located in those areas under movement restrictions, as well as losses due to destroyed and downgraded eggs and meat.

Following a formal request by Italy, the Commission decided, after thorough analysis, to cover with EU funds 50% of the expenditure borne by Italy to support concerned farmers seriously affected in areas under movement restrictions due to outbreaks of avian flu. A total of €46 670 790 from the agricultural reserve will be provided. This amount was established on the basis of set compensation amount per animal and egg.

Only farms located in those regulated zones and affected by the control measures caused by the 23 mentioned outbreaks will be entitled to receive this support. To avoid double funding with public money, losses suffered should not have been compensated by state aid or insurance. Payments co-financed by the agricultural reserve must be made by 30 September 2024 at the latest.

After the formal approval of the support measure by the Commission, the implementing regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal and is expected to enter into force at the beginning of February.

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