The European Commission has decided to pay an advance of €1.25 million to Belgium farmers for losses they occurred due to avian influenza outbreaks in the first half of 2003.
A total of eight outbreaks have been reported in Belgium. Over 3 million birds have been killed and 5 million eggs destroyed, and the Commission reports that famers have been compensated for these losses.
Compensation has also been paid for the costs of destruction of carcasses, eggs, contaminated feedingstuff and equipment and the cleaning and disinfection of holdings.
The final and total amount of the EU contribution - which amounts to 50 per cent of costs - to Belgium will only be fixed after the Belgian authorities have submitted the official and final claims and after the Commission has carried out financial and veterinary controls.