Farmers lose bluetongue compensation

FARMERS in Suffolk today told of their disappointment after the government confirmed the bluetongue crisis in the UK was now officially an outbreak.The news sparked an immediate series of movement restrictions on livestock in the area, and also means affected farmers will no longer be entitled to compensation packages.

FARMERS in Suffolk today told of their disappointment after the government confirmed the bluetongue crisis in the UK was now officially an outbreak.

The news sparked an immediate series of movement restrictions on livestock in the area, and also means affected farmers will no longer be entitled to compensation packages.

A fifth case of the disease was confirmed in a cow near Burstall, near Ipswich on Thursday, close to the rare breeds farm in Baylham where the disease was first confirmed on September 21 - the UK's first ever case.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announcement that the disease was now circulating meant farmers would no longer be entitled to compensation packages.

John Collen, Suffolk chairman of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), said: “It doesn't change anything physically on the ground but any animal that's lost will not be compensated for so the financial burden falls on the currently struggling livestock sector.”

In announcing that bluetongue was being treated as an outbreak, Deputy chief veterinary officer Fred Landeg said: “We are early on in the outbreak and our objective is to try and contain the disease to that part of the country where we have these concerned cases.”

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A 12.5-mile (20km) control zone and a 93-mile (150km) protection zone have been set up around the concerned bluetongue cases.

Baylham House rare breeds farm on the road to recovery - page 15

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