Specialist underwriter Crowe Livestock has warned that the full extent of financial casualties among industries that support farming following the recent foot and mouth outbreak has yet to become clear.
It said that while affected farmers and cattle owners would receive compensation from the government for animals that had been slaughtered compulsorily, there would be no compensation for support industries that suffered financial losses.
Ancillary agricultural industries such as livestock markets and abattoirs, hauliers, importers and exporters, were among those at risk. Their difficulties were compounded by a great variance in their take-up of insurance. Many might already be facing bankruptcy.
Despite the outbreak being contained to a small area in Surrey, producers face an export ban for up to three months from the date of the last outbreak.
The company warned that many of the firms in these supporting industries were SMEs. Those without adequate business interruption insurance would struggle to survive with no cashflow during this period.
Emma Stamper, managing director of Crowe Livestock Underwriting, said: “The latest outbreak of foot and mouth has come at a difficult time for the farming industry on the back of recent flooding.”