The European Parliament today (4 April) voted to fast track the rollout of an emergency subsidy package to protect Europe’s poultry and egg industries from the ravages of bird flu.

Final amendments must be tabled by tomorrow and a full vote will take place on Thursday.

MEPs look set to support expanding subsidies to help producers hit by collapses in demand for poultry and eggs because of health fears about bird flu.

At present, the European Union can only subsidise culls and financial damages caused by livestock movement restrictions. The new expanded subsidies would be co-financed 50:50 by the European Commission and EU member states.