March 20, 2023


Finland mulls establishing fund for farmers affected by salmonella




Authorities in Finland are considering setting up a state salmonella fund to help farmers.


The country's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said it was looking for a solution to finance the control of salmonella on livestock farms, as conditions around insurance coverage on such farms have changed.


A report from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) found the establishment of a state salmonella fund would seem to be the most viable option.


The costs of eradicating salmonella can reach several million euros on a large pig farm. Previously, the farm and insurance company mainly covered the costs.


Recently, Finland has been able to compensate for part of the value of animals killed due to salmonella infection. However, this compensation option, which is intended as a temporary solution, will stop at the end of 2023 unless it is granted an extension until 2024.


The decision on killing pigs to prevent the spread of salmonella infection involves the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) and considers economic and animal welfare points, in addition to a commitment by the owner of the animals to carry out cleaning and disinfection at the site.


A permanent solution could include collecting payments from livestock farmers, which would be put into the fund and compensation would be paid to producers for the costs of eradicating disease cases and outbreaks. Similar state animal disease funds exist in other European countries. Variables include the number of animals on a holding, farm size and the level of disease protection.


A majority of at least two-thirds of votes cast in parliament would be required to approve such a bill.


Luke undertook a survey to get the views of insurance providers and pig farmers on salmonella insurance and their thoughts on state aid.


Costs for salmonella-related renovations on farms, especially in the pig sector, have increased in recent years, as the number of cases has risen and farms have grown. Such factors have increased the price of salmonella claims, leading to higher premiums and tighter insurance terms and conditions.


Simulations using past data seemed to show that support needed for the pig sector would be higher than what should be required in cattle and poultry production.

- Food Safety News

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