Public solidarity is swelling farm funds

30 March 2001

Public solidarity is swelling farm funds

HEART-RENDING stories of suffering farmers are prompting ever-more donations to foot-and-mouth funds from people with no connection to the countryside.

Members of the public have put their hands into their pockets for the emergency funds, including those run by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Arthur Rank Centre and the Daily Mail.

Carole Williams, who contacted farmers weekly for details of a fund to which she could make a donation, said: "I feel we ought to show solidarity with our farmers. We ought to all pull together."

Carole, who lives in Reigate and has no links with the land, dubbed the situation "a catastrophe on our own doorstep".

"We do care about our farmers and our countryside. I think farmers ought to know that there are people in towns who are concerned and care. We do empathise enormously."

RABI chief executive, Richard Duckett, says: "The response to our appeals for support has been very heartening, with many donations – both small and large – coming from members of the public who have no apparent links with farming.

"We have been very encouraged by the support and generosity of a wide cross-section of the farming and general public."

Cash, he says, has come from individuals and trust funds in the UK, plus from as far afield as Australia, Japan, the USA, France and Spain.

&#8226 For feature coverage of foot-and-mouth, see the back three pages of Farmlife.

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