Animal Aid

FOOT AND MOUTH - Farmers owe public an apology

Posted 20 March 2001

The following statement has been issued by Animal Aid:

The farming industry owes the British public an apology over the Foot and Mouth outbreak - for decimating tourism; for seriously inhibiting people's freedom to enjoy the countryside; for costing taxpayers a fortune in compensation and other payments, such as tax rebates; for environmental damage linked to the use of thousands of litres of disinfectant and the burning and disposal of huge numbers of animals; and for damaging Britain's standing and reputation in the world.

On an ongoing basis, the animal farming industry already places a heavy burden on the UK citizen - in financial, environmental and health terms. The industry, for instance, habitually releases toxic materials into the environment, in the form of pesticides, slurry, and drug residues. What is new is the opportunity to rebuild our food and farming sector in a sustainable, healthy and sane way. Animal Aid calls for the withdrawal of subsidy payments to those breeding and killing animals, or who are growing arable crops as animal fodder. Instead, there should be financial support and promotion of a plant-based diet.

Instead of demanding more hand-outs - while looking to blame others for their self-inflicted financial problems - farmers should be grasping this chance to switch to producing animal-free food. This is, after all, what a growing number of consumers are crying out for.

Notes to Editors

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