Tourism suffered most during foot-and-mouth crisis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Foot-and-mouth crisis, Agriculture

Tourism suffered nearly 10 times as much as farming during the foot-and-mouth crisis yet tourism businesses, including pubs, have still not been...

Tourism suffered nearly 10 times as much as farming during the foot-and-mouth crisis yet tourism businesses, including pubs, have still not been compensated.

According to a new report into the outbreak, published by the select committee on public accounts, tourism industries suffered the greatest financial hardship with a loss of between £4.5bn and £5.4bn. The farming industry lost just £600m in comparison.

But although the agriculture industry has received almost £1.4bn in compensation, rural publicans are still lobbying the government for their share of £7bn compensation.

Ian Mitchell, chairman of the UK Rural Business Campaign (UKRBC), which is pushing for the compensation package, said so far there had been little progress.

He told thePublican.com: "The compensation claim is still going strong and we are still pursuing the claim with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs but it will no doubt be a long, drawn out affair."

Last September thousands of publicans joined the Countryside March to lobby the government for their share in £7bn compensation. Licensees from as far away as rural Scotland to the depths of Cornwall took part in the march to demonstrate their anger at the government's lack of action to kick-start the rural community and to highlight the despair faced by struggling businesses.

The report said that many of the government's mistakes could have been avoided and that in the future there should be better planning to avoid spiralling costs for farmers and the tourism industry.

Conservative MP Edward Leigh, who chaired the select committee on public accounts, said: "Many things were inexcusable and were done wrong."

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