28 November 2001
Virus a ‘financial disaster’ despite help

By Alistair Driver

FARMERS have suffered “disastrous” financial losses despite receiving 1.2 billion in foot-and-mouth compensation, claims the National Farmers Union.

NFU president Ben Gill says the epidemic has cost producers at least extra 1bn on top of compensation they have received.

He was speaking after Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown revealed in his pre-budget statement that the epidemic has cost the taxpayer 2.7bn.

This includes 1.2bn to compensate farmers for culled animals and 471m for animals killed under the welfare scheme.

Another 701m was spent on other costs of eradicating the disease, such as cleansing and disinfecting farms, vehicles spays and hiring vets.

Mr Gill said the NFU regretted that this amount of money has had to be paid.

“But despite this large public bill, farmers themselves have suffered disastrous losses as a result of foot-and-mouth,” he said.

“Their compensation has only covered the loss of their livestock,” said Mr Gill.

“It has not covered the immense financial burden caused by the lack of markets, movement restrictions and consequential losses like the inability to produce milk or meat.”

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage
Recovery plan – Full coverage