Skip to main content


Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have not compensated the 33 fish farmers in Yorkshire who have been affected by movement restrictions due to viral haemorrhagic septicaemia, when only one farm was found to be infected, bearing in mind that other European Union countries have offered compensation in similar circumstances.[HL7244]

It is not this department’s policy to pay compensation to fish farmers affected by movement restrictions due to an outbreak of serious fish disease. When viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) was confirmed on a farm in North Yorkshire on 26 May, movement controls were placed on the area we considered initially to be at risk from the spread of the disease. Following an extensive round of sampling and testing of farmed and wild fish and other epidemiological investigations, we were able to announce a reduction in the size of the area under restriction on 10 August. The immediate effect of this was to enable the majority of the 33 farms originally affected by the controls to resume normal trade in live fish. Throughout this period we worked closely with fish farmers and their representatives to minimise the impact of controls by allowing certain movements where scientific evidence suggested that it was safe to do so.

As a general policy on animal health issues, we are moving towards greater cost-sharing with industry. In line with this principle, we have asked industry to consider the establishment of a hardship fund to assist farmers most acutely affected by disease control arrangements. We will look closely at any such initiative, including the possibility of providing some form of assistance to help pump prime a fund.