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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 12:52 GMT
Farm crisis costs reach 500m
sheep farmer
Farmers in Wales have received 56m in compensation
The on-going cost of the foot-and-mouth crisis on farming and tourism in Wales has run into hundreds of millions of pounds, the Welsh Assembly has revealed.

Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones said the total bill for compensating farmers and testing and culling animals - excluding civil service staff costs - totalled 107m.
vet testing sheep
The testing and culling of animals cost millions

A further 65m was set aside in rural aid packages by the assembly for crisis-hit farmers last July.

Mr Jones announced the breakdown of the costs in written answers to assembly questions.

In addition, the Wales Tourist Board has reported the industry's losses last year totalled 280m.

In total, the crisis in Wales is estimated to have cost nearly 500m.

The cost of foot-and-mouth in Wales:
Farmer compensation and operational costs - 107,678,406
Cost to tourism - 280,000,000
Crisis aid package - 65,000,000
Mr Jones underlined that the costs were the direct responsibility of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in London, and not that of the assembly administration.

All of the crisis aid for the Welsh farms announced last summer comes direct from the assembly's budget.

Some 45m was new money, with the remaining 20m reallocated from existing schemes.

Markets re-open

Wales saw 118 confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease - many in Powys, mid Wales - which effectively closed down the farming and tourism industries last year.

The government lifted emergency restrictions last November and some livestock markets have re-opened.

Exports of lamb to Europe - a lucrative market for farmers - have slowly resumed.

Last autumn, the UK Rural Business Campaign - led by a Powys-based group - said it planned to launch legal action against the government for losses incurred.

See also:

03 Dec 01 | Wales
Wales to be foot-and-mouth free
27 Nov 01 | Wales
Welsh lamb exports resume
29 Nov 01 | Wales
Farmer's 1.3m damages payout
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