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Wednesday, 29 August, 2001, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
FMD report: Outbreak's economic impact
The foot-and-mouth epidemic has had a severe effect on both agriculture and the tourism industry. A new report by the Countryside Agency says the epidemic could cost the UK up to 4.1bn.

The report also says more money has been lost to the UK economy as a result of the effect of the outbreak on tourism than as a result of its effect on agriculture.

Here are some of the report's key points.

  • Economy: 2.4 - 4.1bn lost in 2001 overall

    The report says FMD's impact on the UK economy will be up to 0.5% - 4.1bn - of the UK's GDP.

    Nationally around 25% of firms have been affected by the crisis - but this rises to 40% of firms in Devon, Cornwall and Cumbria.

    The full economic impact will not be known for some time - but the report says that 15-20,000 jobs could be at risk in Cumbria alone as a result of the epidemic.

  • Tourism: 2 - 3bn lost in 2001

    The downturn in the tourism industry is largely due to the reduction of international tourists visiting the UK.

    Early estimates for revenue losses as a result in a decline in overseas tourists are 1 - 2.3bn. The British Hospitality Association estimates that there has been a 10% reduction in the number of foriegn visitors to the UK this year.

    The Office of National Statistics says that for the period from April to June there was a 5% decrease in the number of foriegn tourists compared to the previous three months.

    Reduced foriegn tourism has had a bigger effect on urban areas than the countryside - but cities have in turn benefitted from more domestic tourists - who have been unable to visit the countryside as a result of FMD.

    The report says that 80% of "accommodation providers" have been affected - and one third say that business has dropped by more than 25%.

    It is estimated that at least 20,000 to 30,000 jobs in tourism could be affected by the end of the year.

  • Agriculture: between 800m and 2.4bn lost in 2001

    The report estimates that loss of exports will cost between 310 - 400m in 2001 - and will continue at 36m each month for as long as the export ban continues.

    It would take about 40 days for EU markets to open after the UK is declared disease-free - and could be up to six months for some non EU destinations.

    The total cost of FMD compensation to farmers for slaughtered livestock is expected to be about 1.1bn.

    Knock-on effects for the UK agricultural supply sector include a decline in sales, livestock market closures and loss of business to livestock transporters.

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