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Farm Animals Die as FMD Compensation is Lagging

19 April 2011

BULGARIA - Bulgarian farmers who have been forced to destroy their livestock in an attempt to tackle foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), would be fully compensated for their loss, Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naidenov said on 18 April 2011, reiterating Government commitment to provide full compensation.

But in mid-April, animals in Strandja region were "dying of starvation" because farmers have nothing to feed them with. Three months after the outbreak, compensation payments had yet to be made.

Farmers in the village of Fakia have grown so disillusioned with the process that they have lost faith in the authorities, saying they did not believe would will receive any help whatsoever, Bulgarian television channel bTV reported on 18 April.

Because of the quarantine imposed by veterinary authorities, farmers were not allowed to release their animals to graze freely, instead they were supposed to buy feed for the livestock, which quickly ran out because of excessive demand. Consequently, animals are starving, and many were dying, the report said.

"I don't need money. I need grain " Petar Kostadinov, a farmer, told bTV.

Meanwhile, State Fund Agriculture has promised that farmers who have applied for help would receive their first payment before Easter. The Agriculture Ministry initially said that it would compensate all of the affected farmers, but later amended its position to say that it would only provide assistance to those have registered.

But even for those who have registered for assistance, the compensation could not exceed 7500 euro over a period three years, the report said.

At the end of January, the Bulgarian Government said it would build a fence along the border with Turkey after a second FMD outbreak threatened local farmers with devastation.

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Source: The Sofia Echo


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