HC Deb 05 April 2001 vol 366 cc286-7W
Mr. Öpik

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what plans he has to provide financial assistance to the forestry industry to compensate for losses incurred as the result of foot and mouth disease restrictions; and if he will make a statement; [155784]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the job losses in the forestry industry which will result from the foot and mouth disease outbreak; and if he will make a statement; [155783]

(3) what assessment he has made of the economic impact of the current foot and mouth restrictions on the forestry industry; what discussions he has had with the forestry industry; and if he will make a statement. [155782]

Mr. Morley

The Forestry Commission is gathering information on the impact on the forestry industry of foot and mouth restrictions. The Commission has had discussions with key sectors of the industry including a meeting, on 23 March, with representatives of England's woodland owners and managers.

Once the Forestry Commission has collected and analysed information regarding the impact of foot and mouth restrictions, we shall assess whether we should provide additional support for the forestry industry. I have discussed the effects of the foot and mouth outbreak with the Forestry Commission on several occasions, and the Rural Task Force, of which I am a member, has also received representations direct from the forestry industry.

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