Outbreak Levy For Farmers

UK - Farmers should pay a levy to cover the cost of any outbreak of disease, according to a committee of MPs.

They said the public paid £3bn to fight foot and mouth disease in 2001 - and it would be "entirely unacceptable" for the taxpayer to fund any future outbreak.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the Government's handling of foot and mouth resulted in a "prodigious waste of taxpayers' money". As things stand, the taxpayer will be expected to stump up again if another outbreak strikes, it said.

Chairman Edward Leigh pointed to the current threat of bird flu - which could potentially lead to the widespread slaughter of livestock. He said it is vital for the Government to ensure plans are in place to stop the spread of disease - and to control the cost of any outbreak.

But the cross-party Committee also said the Government has learned many of the lessons of the 2001 epidemic. Improved animal health policies, bans on some animal feeds and restrictions on livestock movements had lessened the risk of an outbreak.

Source: SkyNews
calendar icon 1 November 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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