7 June 2001
Farmers need help now — Walker

By FWi staff

THE next Government must take urgent steps to ensure farm businesses hit by foot-and-mouth can survive the season, urges the leader of Scottish farmers.

As Britain goes to the polls in the General Election, National Farmers Union of Scotland president Jim Walker called on immediate action from whoever wins.

Friday (08 June) will be the 100th day since the virus was detected in Scotland and it is on the wane, though not yet beaten, said Mr Walker.

But many farmers are struggling to go about their normal business due to disease restrictions and the loss of export markets, he added.

There was a clear need for government action in the short term, said Mr Walker.

“Not only to get the disease eliminated, but to provide the answer to the simple question that many farmers are desperately asking – how are we supposed to get through this season?”

In the longer term, Mr Walker called for action on unclear country of origin labelling and stronger emphasis on high UK welfare standards.

Mr Walker said: “The challenge for the new government is to work with the industry to remove unfair trading conditions and encourage agriculture to prosper.”

Two new cases of foot-and-mouth have been confirmed on Thursday (07 June) taking the UK total up to 1709.

These are both near Skipton in North Yorkshire, taking to 55 the number of case in the “Settle Rectangle” confirmed by Ministry of Agriculture vets.

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