Problems faced by farmers in the UK In recent years, farmers in the UK have had to cope with many problems, the most recent of these being foot and mouth disease, which is a highly contagious viral illness that afflicts sheep, pigs, cows, goats, deer and other animals with cloven hoofs. Foot-and-mouth can be fatal to animals, but most can recover from the disease. Since its latest outbreak was discovered on February 19th in England, foot-and-mouth has spread to France. But it differs from mad cow disease (BSE) - the other disease to recently hit the European Agricultural Industry, in that it does not pose a health risk to humans. Foot and mouth poses an economic threat to Britain and Europe.

Livestock has been slaughtered; movement limited and nations worldwide have joined the U. S in banning meat and dairy products from the E.U. In Britain especially, foot-and-mouth is compounding the blows to the livestock industry from mad cow, last summer's classical swine flu outbreak and winter flooding. Foot-and-mouth gets its name from its tell tale symptoms. Infected animals develop blisters around their hooves and mouths. They suffer high fevers and excess salivating. From Cumbria in the North, to Gloucestshire in the South, more than 750 individual outbreaks have led the government to slaughter more than a quarter of a million animals.

Officials in Europe have responded to the recent foot and mouth outbreak with various containment measures. Hundreds of thousands of inspected or suspicious livestock have been slaughtered. Farmers have been alienated however by government secrecy by dealing with foot and mouth. Officials in Europe have respond to FMD with various containment measures. Hundreds of thousands of suspected livestock have been slaughtered or are scheduled to be destroyed.

Officials have limited the movement of people, animals and traffic in designated zones. Travellers in rural England and those who are leaving the country are asked to step in troughs of disinfectant. Exports have been banned and EU wont permit imports of British meat until 12 months after the last case is diagnosed. FMD is coming hard on the heel of BSE (mad cow disease) Farmers are now receiving compensation for loss of animals, Some farmers will have to start all a over again, some are even closing down business. Mad cow has cost a bout 4,000 farmers their jobs in the last two years. Farmers are the most subsidized industry in UK.

Problems have befallen other industries which have not received subsidies from governments. Although farmers were compensated for livestock, only 10% of farmers were insured for consequential losses, ie loss of earnings. Not enough slaughter houses throughout UK. EEC regulations meant some had to close, therefore more movement of animals across country. This would speed the spread of disease. European commission will pay agri money compensation early to British livestock farmers.

EU agreed that UK government can invoke Extra vets being drafted in from UK and abroad to help in Present crisis in British farming is nothing new. There have been many boom and bust periods in agriculture. FMD has considerable effects not only on agricultural production and farming industries but also on tourism. There has been the closure of many historical sites and tourist attractions as well as mass slaughtering, burning and burying of animals. Even those who had healthy animals in areas adjacent to infected farms also had their flocks slaughtered. BSE BSE result from infection with a very unusual infectious agent.

The outbreak of BSE in the Uk may have resulted from the feeding of scrapie-containing sheep meat-and-bone meal to cattle. There is strong evidence and general agreement that the outbreak was amplified by feeding meat-and-bone meal prepared from cattle to young calves. Mad cow disease was first identified in Britain in 1985, and a widespread outbreak infected more than 100,000 cows across Europe in the mid-1990's. In response to the BSE crisis, the British government instituted a series of measures to minimize the risk of disease transmission among both animals and humans. These included a ban on feeding ruminant protein (ruminants are animals such as cows, sheep and goats) to ruminants in 1988... In 1989 and 1995 the removal of some "high risk" materials (such as brain, spinal cord and intestines) from cattle at slaughter.

In 1996 there was a ban on cattle over 30 months of age from being used for food. Following institution of these measures, Great Britain has seen a decrease in the number of cattle with BSE from a peak incidence of 36,680 confirmed cases in 1993 to 2,254 confirmed in 1999.