Bluetongue Means Crisis for UK Farmers

PM signals possible compensation for crippled industry
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2007 4:54 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Bluetongue cases will keep infecting UK cattle and mire farmers in a financial crisis, possibly for years, the Guardian reports. Almost a dozen cows have been hit so far, the first tremor of UK bluetongue after 3,000 cattle were hit this summer in Northern Europe. So far Gordon Brown has set up a protection zone and vowed to find a bluetongue vaccine.

He first denied recompense for farmers, but now signals that he might change his mind. After all, UK farmers face a tough winter and an on-going export ban. "This confirms that the year is turning into a horror story for British farming," says a UK spokesman. "The last thing livestock farmers needed after the foot-and-mouth outbreak in August was the arrival of bluetongue."