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Over 800,000 animals have been destroyed
Crisis in the Countryside
Sunday 1 April 2001
Reporter Julian Pettifer
Producer Marc Sigsworth
Assistant Producers Rachel Morgan & Rob Cole


With British farming once again in the midst of another health crisis, Panorama questions whether Britain really needs a future in livestock farming.

As the foot and mouth virus continues to spread across the land, reporter Julian Pettifer asks what happens to the 3.5 billion worth of subsidies that farmers reap from the Government and the European Union every year.

Julian Pettifer asks whether Britain still needs farmers.

Julian Pettifer put your questions to Richard D. North of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Tim Bennett, the Deputy President of the National Farmers Union.

The UK farming industry is reliant on EU subsidies. But this has not stopped a decline in profitability and numbers working in the industry.

10 Farming Facts
41% of total EU budget is spent on the Common Agricultural Policy
The average British family spends 10 per week to subsidise farmers
For every 10 you spend on beef cuts, you've already paid 1.40 in tax
The average family in the EU pays 845 extra for food due to EU policies
The UK makes up only 0.3% of the world's agricultural area.
Agriculture is worth only 1.2% of the UK's GDP
Agriculture uses 75%-80% of the UK's land area
UK farm income has fallen by over 50% in last 5 years
In 1999 the EU was paying an average subsidy of 11,790 per farmer
One fifth of hedgerows in England and a quarter of the hedgerows in Wales were lost between 1984 and 1990.

See Also:

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Panorama's Julian Pettifer
"No other industry is subsidised in this way. Why should agriculture be?"
Crisis in the Countryside
A countryside without farmers?

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