Monday April 16, 2001
The spiralling cost of the foot and mouth crisis was starkly illustrated yesterday by news
that one of the farmers identified as being at the centre of the spread of the disease has
received more than £1m in compensation for the destruction of his livestock.
Willie Cleave, from Highhampton, was the first farmer in Devon to have the disease
confirmed after he transported 40 infected sheep from near Carlisle to his slaughterhouse
and 13 farms in the county.
"I know it is a lot of money, but then I had a lot of stock. The government revised the
figures down just after my livestock was valued. I reckon I'm £100,000 down," he said.
The farmer, who had all of his animals destroyed, is thought to have received £1,000 for
each of his 950 cows, £90 for each of his 2,700 ewes.
But despite the large sums being paid, a farmers' leader said yesterday that the
compensation may not be enough. The director of the NFU in the south-west, Anthony Gibson,
said there was a risk that the current outbreak could follow the same pattern as 1968 when
the government had to top up compensation after livestock prices "went through the roof".
Farmers were not allowed to restock their farms for six months, and compensation also
covered loss of income for that time.