21 December 2001
News review of 2001

         
MOST farmers will want to forget 2001 as the worst in living memory

But despite foot-and-mouth, it wasnt all bad news. FWi recalls the main events

JANUARY FARM minister Nick Brown snubs Oxford Farming Conference by choosing to address Organic Conference instead

FARMERS WEEKLY and Horse & Hound present 10,500 pledges of support for the “Hands Off Hunting, Mr Blair” campaign

NFU announces intention to run public relations campaign aimed at MPs to improve farming industrys image

FEBRUARY FARMERS for Action resumes protests outside Dairy Crest and Unigate plants in bid to raise milk prices

Government vets spot foot-and-mouth disease in a batch of pigs delivered to Cheale Meats abattoir in Essex

Exports and all animal livestock movements are banned as officials try to track down the source of the disease

MARCH THE number of foot-and-mouth outbreaks escalates forcing ministers to take draconian step of introducing contiguous culling policy

Countryside Alliance counts cost of cancelling the Countryside March, due to take place in London in March

Cluster of Creuzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) cases in Leicestershire blamed on traditional butchery methods

APRIL THE death toll of animals slaughtered as a result of foot-and-mouth controls passes 2 million but the NFU warns Tony Blair farmers will revolt if vaccination introduced

Farm organisations call for the government to set up an enforcement body to tackle the problem of illegal meat imports

A FARMERS WEEKLY survey reveals one third of farmers hit by foot-and-mouth are planning to quit or scale down their businesses.

MAY DEPUTY prime minister John Prescott punches a Welsh farmworker while on the campaign trail for the General Election

A second wave of foot-and-mouth hits Northern England

Battles continue between farmers and government officials who insist stock must be culled even though they appear healthy

JUNE LABOUR wins unprecedented second term in office and immediately disbands MAFF

New Defra secretary Margaret Beckett says farmers concerns will not dominate her vision for rural Britain

Defra accused of deliberately concealing the true number of animals slaughtered in battle to control foot-and-mouth

JULY THE wet autumn leads experts to predict the 2001 wheat harvest will be a record low at just 13 million tonnes

Farmers suffer in the media when Tony Blair suggests clean-up operation costs are “unacceptable”

Prince Charles, who also donated 500,000 to farm charities, urges big business to help revitalise rural Britain

AUGUST MARGARET BECKETT cuts short her holiday to announce there will be two inquiries into foot-and-mouth and a policy commission on the future of food and farming

British agriculture takes a step towards normality as Scotland holds its first livestock market for six months

Civil servants start strike action over pay and conditions, which leads to delays in farmers receiving their support payments

SEPTEMBER GOVERNMENT introduces new arrangements for autumn livestock movements based on the disease status of individual counties

Foot-and-mouth disease looks to be under control, with confirmed cases halting after one on 30 September

Defra secretary Margaret Beckett warns urgent and radical changes are on the way for the farming industry

OCTOBER RURAL recovery co-ordinator Lord Haskins recommends government should buy sheep quota from farmers

Officials discover scientists have tested cattle brains instead of sheep brains as part of their research into whether there is BSE in the national sheep flock

EU vets give the go-ahead for beef exports from GB counties that have had no cases of foot-and-mouth to resume

NOVEMBER BATTLE brews over governments proposed Animal Health Bill

Young farmers descend on Torquay for a “Wild Winter Weekend”, which replaced the normal spring AGM

The “White Stuff” campaign, which has boosted sales by about 60 million litres in 18 months, is voted Best Dairy Marketing Campaign in the World

DECEMBER EXPERTS say farm crisis has finally bottomed out after government forecasts rise in farm incomes

The “lessons to be learned” inquiry into foot-and-mouth, chaired by Dr Iain Anderson, is formally launched

Rural “rebels” in Scotland hold a week of protests in Edinburgh including a march about the governments handling of foot-and-mouth, land reform and hunting