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Each crisis, from foot and mouth to BSE and swine fever is another blow for an industry which has become one of the most controversial and complex problems of the new century.

Now more than ever before farming has to go through a period of reflection and restructuring if it is to survive, not least because of the expansion of the EU.

One impact of the foot and mouth crisis has been to cause farmers to rethink their livelihoods.

In March, four weeks into the foot and mouth crisis, Newsnight conducted a survey of nearly three hundred farmers who had been affected by the disease. At that time:

  • 68% said they intended to stay in livestock farming
  • 8% said they would leave
  • 24% didn't know.

This week we revisited the same group. Five months on, the views of those who responded to our survey were more positive:

  • 86% said they intended to stay in the industry
  • 4% wanted to leave
  • 10% did not know.

But what kind of farming industry are they staying in ?

In a follow up question to our farmers in this survey we asked whether ultimately they should have to operate without subsidies. Surprisingly the majority agreed.

  • 65% said farms should have to operate without a subsidy
  • 23% that they should have a subsidy
  • 12% didn't know.

Click on the button below to watch our investigation into the future of livestock farming, including a discussion with guests representing every aspect of the crisis and a special report from the Netherlands where the farming industry has already been forced to change its ways radically.

Watch the item

Click on the button below to read a transcript of the discussion.

Read the transcript

Have your say about whether farmers should continue to receive subsidies by taking part in our vote below:

Do you think the farming industry should continue to receive subsidies?

Only for managing the landscape

86 Votes Cast

This is not a representative sample and the figures do not necessarily reflect public opinion.

Links to more Newsnight stories