19 June 2001
Farmers push for swill compensation
By Alistair Driver
PIG producers hit by the ban on swill feeding are increasing the pressure on the government to give them compensation.
More than 70 farmers affected by the ban have had their businesses wiped out, according to the Associated Swill Users (ASU) group.
The farmers are furious they have not been compensated for the crippling financial losses they have endured.
The ASU is now launching a national campaign to demand a fair deal from the government.
“Our members are not just seeing their farms brought to a standstill for six months or a year,” said national group co-ordinator Linda Davies.
“They are having their businesses completely wiped out. Their futures are not just bleak – they are non-existent.”
Most former swill feeders, who were mainly small producers, cannot afford to switch to a new feeding system, she said.
Many producers had spent thousands of pounds updating now obsolete facilities, she said.
She called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to stand by his promise to compensate all farmers affected by the foot-and-mouth crisis.
The ASU claim swill feeders have been made into scapegoats for the crisis.
Swill feeding has been widely blamed as the cause of infection at the Heddon-on-the-Wall pig farm believed to be at the centre of the outbreak.
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