Tony Blair has hauled on the brakes of the “unacceptable” financial free for all of the foot and mouth cull and clearance operations.
The govenment has just done the sums and may be looking at a bill of £800 million plus, with individual farm clearance costs (an average of £104,000) apparently ten times higher than equivalent European examples . DEFRA have said that “We are not suspending cleaning and disinfection…. ……But we are seeking good value for money to make it cost-effective and ensure that contractors are working in a cost-effective way.”
Ceilings on clean up costs and even – shock horror – getting farmers to foot some of the bill, are possible measures to be introduced, but they seem to be cottoning on to the huge costs incurred a little late, as over 9000 farms are already affected.
On a happier note this week should see the government enforced lifting of blanket access bans in many areas, after the July 20th D-Day, so if you’re area suddenly gets opened up let us know and we’ll post the good news here. We suggest you take a scythe on your first ride though if the trails round here are anything to go by.