Italy going too far to prop up AI-struck poultry sector
The European Commission has launched an investigation into Italy's
bid to prop up its ailing poultry sector, hit by a drop in demand due to avian
The EC says that the government's measures in response to the bird
flu crisis in Italy may be illegal under the EU's rules.
investigation will look into the aid provided for under a new law, which
provides for the purchase by the government of 17,000 tonnes of poultry meat and
other poultry products.
The new law also suspends tax, social
security contributions and payments for operators in the poultry sector, while
allowing the government to grant aid for loans relating to the conversion and
restructuring of poultry operations affected by the crisis.
stage, the aid provided for the scheme seems difficult to justify in the light
of state aid rules," the Commission said in a statement.
government has one month to comment on the investigation and to provide details
of its proposed aid for the sector.
Consumption of poultry meat has dropped by more than half in
some EU states, with 300,000 tonnes and more in storage across the bloc,
according to previous EU estimates. Import measures have also restricted the
supply of poultry meat into the bloc.
For more information, see the Commission's statement on its investigation into measures to combat the bird flu crisis in
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