Farmers threaten to break virus rules

21 September 2001

Farmers threaten to break virus rules

By FWi staff

CUMBRIAN farmers are preparing to illegally move livestock unless foot-and-mouth restrictions are lifted, claims a national newspaper.

The Furness peninsula in the county is disease-free but has been classified as a high-risk area meaning farmers cannot buy or sell any animals.

We are dying here. We cannot trade anywhere in the country, the Daily Mail reports one unnamed farmer as saying.

We will be forced to have our animals put down under the welfare scheme. What can the government do, prosecute us all if we start moving our animals?

National Farmers Union spokesman Tom Hodgson said local government officials were powerless to act because they had been overruled by London.

Unless something is done there will be a very serious animal welfare problem this winter, he said.

Some farmers wont be able to bring their animals in for the winter, they wont be able to sell them and they will be forced to put them down.

Farmers in other counties are also suffering from what they claim is inflexibility in the governments disease status classification rules.

Sheep farmers in the Welsh county of Powys have warned that animal welfare is at risk because only cattle and pigs can be moved off farms.


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