Fodder aid opposition

The use of European Union (EU) subsidies to encourage livestock fodder production has taken another blow, with the European Commission declaring itself firmly against such handouts.

In a detailed report, Brussels stresses such payments generate many greenhouse gas emissions through fossil fuels drying fodder, although this pollution is falling.

Earlier this year, the Commission proposed fodder aid be decoupled from production between 2011 and 2013, which would significantly reduce amounts made in the EU.

The report noted: "The added-value of the dried fodder sector represents 22% of total receipts, which roughly equals the EU aid budget."

It added that there were more environment-friendly alternatives available: "On the feed market, dried fodder is already of limited importance as a source of plant protein," it said, noting that increased feed efficiency and cheap protein-rich by-products from biofuel production would help "marginalise" dried fodder.