Compensation for mink farmers much more expensive than anticipated
Compensation for mink farmers will cost more than expected, caretaker Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten reported to parliament. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) predicts that 12.6 million euros will have to be added to the reserved amount of 150 million euros. Because not all compensation applications have been thoroughly assessed yet, the extra costs may increase even further.
The main reason for the budget overrun is "a higher number of cooperating entrepreneurs than estimated in advance." So far, 147 companies have applied for compensation for a total of 180 locations, Schouten reported. The most significant part (91 applications) has been definitively determined. Some applications are still in the assessment phase, and 50 companies received an advance but no determination yet. Two applications were rejected.
The compensation fund was created after the Cabinet decided to ban mink farming in the Netherlands sooner than planned. The animals on dozens of mink farms became infected with the coronavirus last year. Fearing that the virus would continue to circulate on the companies, the Cabinet decided to clear all mink farms faster than planned. The sector stopped at the end of last year, instead of in 2024.
The Cabinet set another 36 million euros aside for schemes such as a subsidy for the demolition or conversion of mink farms. Entrepreneurs who wanted to apply for a demolition grant had to do so before 1 November. Those who want a conversion subsidy can apply for this until the end of 2023. 157 companies have already submitted applications for 176 locations in total. The RVO still has to assess these applications. It is therefore not known whether this budget will also be exceeded.
Reporting by ANP