Farmers demand compensation for FMD financial losses

Farmers have launched a petition asking for compensation for financial losses occurred as a result of FMD movement restrictions.

The petition, which is on the Downing Street website, is supported by the Women's Food and Farming Union and currently has over 3,000 signatories.

It states that farmers should be compensated because the FMD outbreak was a consequence of the lapse in bio-security at a government facility.

Prue Young, the petition's creator, said: "Current movement restrictions are having catastrophic effects on farmers' incomes as the animals can not be sent to livestock sales where most of their annual income is accrued and there is no market price at the slaughterhouses.

"If the FMD outbreak continues to cause movement restrictions, there will possibly be a shortage of lambs born in the spring, which will further deplete the incomes of farmers, as well as causing shortages to the consumer.

"Many farmers may go bankrupt without coming any where near an infected animal. The current outbreak was due to incompetence at a GOVERNMENT lab and the farmers are blameless - they SHOULD NOT be the ones to suffer; the government should be held to account and made to compensate those who are suffering through no fault of their own.

"The Government has provided £3bn of public funds to Northern Rock to rescue it from the consequences of its own management's mistakes; the farming community need similar support to deal with a situation for which they are not in any way responsible."

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