Leaders of the Croatian Democratic Party of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) said in Osijek on Sunday that after numerous other problems, lumpy skin disease in cattle would deal the final blow to many family-run farms in the Slavonia region.
Party leader Dragan Vulin told a news conference that the disease, even though it had not been reported in Croatia, would have a major impact on domestic cattle farming.
The vaccination against the disease, which started recently in five counties, will cause huge financial damage because cattle breeders will not be able to sell their cattle in the first 28 days following the vaccination, and they will have to sell it at prices much below the usual market price over a period of one year after the vaccination, said Vulin.
He noted that in 2003 there were 65,000 dairy cattle farms in Croatia, while today only 8,000 remained.
The main reason for this is that the state and all governments so far have failed to protect domestic producers, tolerating low purchase prices which made farm production unsustainable and farms to close down, said Vulin.
Osijek County head Vladimir Sisljagic said that the Agriculture Ministry had not made any decisions on how to compensate farmers for the damage to be caused by the vaccination. After the vaccination, cattle is subject to a special regime of sale of meat and dairy products and they cannot be exported to the EU market, he said, adding that he would discuss the problem with the outgoing Agriculture Minister Davor Romic.