5 April 2002

DEFRA rubishes scare over F&M compensation

REPORTS that the European Commission is set to reject £300m of the UK governments claim for compensation to help pay for the foot-and-mouth crisis have been dismissed by DEFRA.

Two national newspapers reported that the commission believes the UKs claim is excessive and is planning to pay only part of the cost of compensating British farmers for their lost stock. British taxpayers will have to fund the rest, they said.

But a DEFRA spokesman said the department was not aware of any plans to take money away from it.

"There is no indication from the commission that it is rejecting any of our claims or disallowing funds."

DEFRA has submitted a claim for £998m and has already received £355m, he added.

EU law requires the commission to refund 60% of the compensation paid out by a member state for animal slaughtered. &#42