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Foot and Mouth Disease: Compensation

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what compensation is available to (a) cattle hauliers and (b) other industries allied to farming adversely affected by the cattle movement restrictions in place as a result of foot and mouth disease. (158636)

Under the Animal Health Act 1981, compensation is paid for animals that are compulsorily culled to prevent the spread of certain diseases. For foot and mouth disease (FMD), the Act requires that compensation is paid at the full market value of the animal before it became infected. Compensation is also paid for other items, such as farm equipment and feed, where these are seized because they are considered to be contaminated; this includes such things as milk.

It is a long established principle that the Government does not meet the costs of consequential losses, which must be borne by the industry.

DEFRA is taking a risk-based and staged approach to easing movement restrictions when the evidence indicates that it is appropriate to do so. We have announced that we will lift all restrictions in most unaffected areas of the country on 17 October, subject to the disease situation. This is the best way to facilitate the return to normal working for the industry. We are working in partnership with the industry, but eradication of FMD remains our priority.