FMD Disease outbreak costs in dispute

UK - More than 10,000 farms from the Scottish Borders to the south-west of England were affected in the cull of livestock that followed the foot-and-mouth epidemic of 2001 - the worst outbreak the world has ever seen.
calendar icon 13 July 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

Farmers received almost £4 billion in direct compensation, but the final bill to the taxpayer was much closer to £8bn. The largest cheque paid to a Scottish farmer exceeded £3 million.

It has been clear since the epidemic that the government will never again allow itself to be liable for an open-ended commitment to pick up all the costs. The industry will have to share the burden in the event of any similar outbreak in future.

Yesterday in London, Stewart Houston, a pig farmer who has been the co-chairman of a joint industry working group with the government, gave an outline of current thinking.

He said: "Reducing the risk of an exotic animal disease outbreak is of paramount concern to us all. We believe that the industry and government working together is the way that this goal will be best achieved.

"It means the industry taking a full role in managing disease risks and farmers being prepared to pay a share of the costs."

Source: The Scotsman

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