By FWi staff

FOOT-and-mouth has devastated the activities of the British Wool Marketing Board this year, leading to a drop of 15-20% in exports, says managing director Ian Hartley.

The total ban on livestock movements led to the closure of grading depots, and collected wool had to be stored for two months to prevent the transmission of foot-and-mouth.

Mr Hartley says further restructuring is required. “Up to 50% of permanent staff in our depots will be shed within a few years.

“It is going to take a lot of effort to get our markets back and if the disease isnt cleared up soon and we lose significantly more than 20% of our exports, the board will be under a lot of pressure.”

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