Commission approves foot-and-mouth compensation

The European Commission has authorised 400 million euro of advance payments to Member States hit by the foot-and-mouth (FMD) crisis. Governments compensated farmers forced to slaughter their animals in an effort to stem the spread of the disease.

The United Kingdom, hardest hit by the disease that swept through the nation earlier this year, will be advanced 355 million euro. Although the UK has been earmarked to receive the largest sum of the advance payments, advances of 39 million euro have also been allocated to the Netherlands, 3.3 million euro to France and 2.7 million euro to Ireland.

The final and total amount of the compensation to Member States will not be fixed until it has conducted further financial and veterinary inspections in the Member States concerned, and until the Member States have submitted their final claims.

 

Under the terms of Council Decision 90/424/EEC, the Commission provides compensation, up to 60 percent, towards the value of the animals destroyed under an Emergency Veterinary Fund. The advances take into account European Commission estimates of the average value of the animals slaughtered, or the value placed on them by national authorities where it is lower. The EU has an additional 635 million euro available for further foot-and-mouth payments.

The first case of foot-and-mouth was identified on 20 February in the UK and the epidemic reached its peak in March. To date, there have been 1,954 outbreaks of the disease in the UK according to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The EU took immediate precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease, which does not affect humans but diminishes animals' productivity and harms trade.

 

All EU-backed foot-and-mouth restrictions in mainland UK are set to expire in September.

 

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