4 September 2000
‘Farmers may be driven to spread fever’
By FWi staff
CASH-STRAPPED pig farmers could be driven to deliberately infecting their stock if there is another outbreak of swine fever, a producer has warned.
Norfolk pig farmer Steven Mills made this prediction after hearing the governments compensation offer for farmers affected by swine fever controls.
The Ministry of Agriculture has offered a flat rat of 35 for every pig over 60kg entering the slaughter scheme designed to alleviate welfare problems.
Furious industry leaders say farmers in restriction zones should have got 100 per animal, which would have reflected the market value and costs.
Farmers whose stock is found to have the disease will receive 100% compensation.
Mr Mills, who has signed up for the scheme and will have animals removed on Monday (04 Sept), described the offer as disgusting.
By sticking to the law and keeping to the regulations all weve got is a kick in the teeth, he told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.
Ministry vets are trying to run a scheme which encourages people like myself, if there is a further outbreak, to actively go out and ensure their pigs are diseased with swine fever, he said.
The only way a lot of pig producers in this area can survive is by getting slaughtered out completely and getting 100% compensation for all the stock on the unit.
He called on vets upholding the ministrys decision if they had any professional integrity to offer their resignation en bloc.
Theyre now going to be struggling to control diseases where producers have a financial interest in spreading them.