Monday, 6 August 2007

Cheap beef, big social cost

Foot & Mouth has been found at a farm 30-odd miles from home. There have been no other outbreaks and it's probable that someone at a nearby research facility is the cause. I feel sorry for the farmers involved; it must be devastating.

The EU have banned all imports of British meat, dairy products and livestock: My first thought was "Oh, great. Cheaper meat for me!", but facetiousness aside, it's going to cause a lot of hardship here. British farmers are already struggling. The various government marketing boards (Wool Marketing Board, Milk Marketing Board*) no longer look after the interests of the farmers and, instead of supporting prices, have driven them down below cost. In the wool industry, farmers are burning or composting fleeces since the price offered by the Wool Board is a pittance and they aren't allowed to sell their fleeces elsewhere.

- Pam

* I know I have the names wrong, but you get the idea.

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