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pounds 1bn bill for epidemic.

THE Government was often left "chasing the tail" of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, according to the National Farmers' Union submission to the National Audit Office inquiry into the outbreak.

The uncompensated losses to farming - without losses to diversified operations such as agri-tourism - was estimated by the NFU to be pounds 1b.

The report said the cost to farmers and the country had been high because the disease had taken a hold before adequate resources were made available to tackle it.

Action was taken late, leaving the Government "chasing the tail" of the disease rather than heading it off."

NFU president Ben Gill said: "Given the critical importance of rapid slaughtering, there were too many delays."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 12, 2001
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