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Pig Farmer joins bid to sue Government

by 5m Editor
29 September 2007, at 11:23am

UK - An East Devon farmer who has been left financially crippled by restrictions imposed following the outbreak of foot- and-mouth disease, is trying to sue the Government for loss of earnings.

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I've registered because I think the Government is liable

Mr Leach

Roger Leach, who rears 6,000 pigs at Slade Barton Farm, Payhembury, near Honiton, says movement restrictions across the UK and the long-running export ban are costing him thousands of pounds a week.

An investigation into the source of the outbreak blamed a research facility in Pirbright, Surrey, home of the Government-funded Institute of Animal Health and the commercial vaccine manufacturer Merial.

Mr Leach is seeking compensation alongside hundreds of other farmers affected by the disease. He has registered with the National Farmers' Union and is part of a group action.

"I've registered because I think the Government is liable," said Mr Leach. "It was an accident - it wasn't done intentionally - but if I had an accident on my farm and polluted a stream, I would have to pay compensation to those businesses that lost money as a consequence. We have had tremendous losses as a result of the outbreak. We have lots of overweight pigs and a lot of culled sows we cannot sell because the export market has been closed. To give you some idea, we lose about £40 for every overweight pig and we had 80 on one load last week."

Source: This is Exeter

5m Editor