Farm virus costs firms 125,000

6 September 2001

Farm virus costs firms 125,000

By FWi

THE average cost of the foot-and-mouth crisis is likely to top 125,000 for affected firms, the Institute of Directors has warned.

The claim is made in a submission to the National Audit Office. It is critical of the governments refusal to introduce vaccination against the disease.

The institute also criticises the National Farmers Union obsession with restoring the UKs disease-free status in order to resume exports.

The union is chasing disease-free status at the expense of any other considerations, says the submission.

But the cost of foot-and-mouth has been significant for the transport and tourist industries, according to an institute survey.

In April, the average loss was more than 50,000. But that has now risen to over 125,000, the survey of institute members found.

An editorial in The Daily Telegraph, which reports the story, calls for the introduction of ring vaccination in an attempt to control foot-and-mouth.

The NFU argues that it can see “no reason” to test vaccination during an epidemic. But when else can it be utilised?, the paper asks.

Later, it adds: If the vaccine was used to fight the virus in even one infected county, it could give invaluable research material for future outbreaks.

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Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks

Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage