8 March 2001
No compensation for test time lost

By FWi staff

FARMERS are unlikely to get compensation for loss of income while their holdings are tested for foot-and-mouth, admits a junior farm minister.

Baroness Hayman said it was unacceptable that some producers placed under disease restrictions were waiting as long as two weeks for results.

But speaking on the BBC Radio Four Farming Today programme, she gave little hope of compensation for other losses, such as poured away milk.

Compensation is available for direct losses from foot-and-mouth disease, but farmers representatives say consequential losses should also be met.

“Weve made clear the position on compensation,” said Baroness Hayman.

“Were pulling out the stops to do everything we can for disease control, but occasionally things dont go as smoothly as you would wish.

“An lot of people are having an awful lot of hard luck at the moment.”

The minister said delays in results were partly because it took longer to confirm a negative result rather than the system being overwhelmed.

The Ministry of Agriculture confirmed 15 new cases of foot-and-mouth disease on Wednesday (07 March) bringing the UK total to 96.

Among these were the first confirmed cases of the disease in as North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Berkshire and Derbyshire.

The crisis is taking its toll on the racing and rugby calendars.

Scotlands Six Nations clash with Ireland on 7 April at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh has been postponed.

And the British Horseracing Board has called off the showpiece Cheltenham National Hunt Festival which was, which was due to start on 13 March.

This decision was taken after it emerged that sheep had been grazing on the course within the last 28 days.

Meanwhile, racing resumed at Lingfield Park, Surrey, on Wednesday after a seven-day break, despite protests from farmers leaders.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage