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Loss Insurance

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with interested parties regarding loss insurance in the event of a disease outbreak in (a)animals and (b) crops. [131325]

The purpose of discussions about loss insurance for disease outbreaks is to explore ways to reduce the cost to taxpayers of such outbreaks. For animal diseases a working group which Defra set up with representatives of the insurance and livestock sectors met several times last year. The group has completed its initial task and we are now working on proposals for the livestock sector to bear a greater share of the cost of animal diseases. While there is no cost to taxpayers from crop diseases, wider discussions on crop insurance generally were held last year by a joint Defra/ HM Treasury working group on farm risk management, with representatives from the finance and arable sectors.