UK: farmers want to sue over FMD
British farmers are gearing up for legal action against the government to
recover losses incurred during the current outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease
(FMD), farmer groups said.
"When I hear stories of milk having to be poured away, calves assembled for
export having to be slaughtered and high quality breeding pigs unable to be
shipped, I am not just dismayed, I am furious," Peter Kendall, president of the
National Farmers Union, said.
According to the union, hundreds of NFU
members have registered to be part of the group action to recover losses
incurred following the movement ban.
outbreak, on August 3, has been traced to biosecurity breaches at the partly
government-run veterinary research complex in Pirbright, in the county of Surrey
in southern England.
In total, now seven cases of FMD
reported, all within miles of the first outbreak - none of them included a pig
Britain imposed livestock movement restrictions in an attempt
to control the spread of FMD. The EU also banned British exports of fresh meat,
live animals and milk products.
"I am relieved the
government has eased movement restrictions this week, but the fact remains that
they would not have been needed in the first place if the proper biosecurity and
containment measures had been in place at Pirbright," Kendall
In addition, representatives of NFU Scotland and the Farmers'
Union of Wales voiced similar opinions.
spokeswoman for the farm ministry said it would "consider any representations
when they are received". She said the government's legal obligation was to pay
compensation for animals killed to prevent the spread of the
According to the website of the British Department of
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the national movement ban,
including pigs, will be lifted for the low FMD risk zones in the UK - anywhere
outside South East England - as from October 4th.
â€¢ Department of
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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