Rural businesses counting costs of foot and mouth outbreak

The impact of the foot and mouth outbreak is already spreading to other rural industries as one rosette maker expressed fears over the future of his business.

Andrew Kirtley, said he expected to lose about half of his income from his rosette business, Rheidol Rosettes in Dihewyd, Lampeter, this year because of the outbreak.

Mr Kirtley, who lost his home and his cycle hire business in the New Forest as a result of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, said he was “at the mercy” of the outbreak, which had “come at the worst time” for his business.

“We sell about 50,000 rosettes each year, and about 20,000 of them are sold in August during the show season,” he said.

“We have already had several shows cancelled, and we are getting phone calls every two hours cancelling orders.”

Mr Kirtley said turnover for August was usually about £15,000, but he expected that figure to be cut by 50%.

“Overall I think we will lose half of our income this year.

“We employ three part time people, so we are helping to keep the rural community afloat. This is a very big worry for us.”