Valencia approves €1M aid for struggling livestock farmers hit hardest by the Covid pandemic.
THE financial aid is aimed in particular at breeders of bulls and native Guirra sheep which are reared for their meat, milk and wool.
Councillor for Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Mireia Mollà, highlighted the “urgent” need for the allocation of funds to livestock farmers that have not been included in previous grant schemes.
An initial budget of €950,000has been agreed, of which €850,000 will go to bull farmers and the remaining €100,000 to those who breed Guirra sheep.
“This new aid package is compatible and additional to the rest of the ordinary subsidies for the livestock sector,” said the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to agricultural organisations, LA UNIÓ de Llauradors i Ramaders, the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA), and the Association of Cattle Ranchers of Bous al Carrer de la Comunitat Valenciana, 133 livestock farms in the region are under threat of closure.
They have welcomed the direct aid, pointing out that breeders of bulls have found it almost impossible to meet the costs of feeding and maintaining cattle during the pandemic, without any income from ‘bous al carrer’ (bull runs) and other festivities.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has presented at the meeting of the Autonomous Executive a plan that seeks to compensate its holders for financial losses due to Covid restrictions.
The aid, which will be granted on a non-competitive basis, will offer an initial amount of €250 per animal and could increase by up to an additional €400.
Those supporting the move say it will help to protect an Andalucian tradition, as well as the environmental work of the wild bull in sustaining the grassland ecosystem and maintaining the rural tradition or rearing these breeds.