BSE bought and sold

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

DUBLIN––While the British cattle industry
as a whole is in economic distress due to the loss of
markets caused by the BSE scare, Irish Times agricultural
correspondent Sean MacConnell reported on
October 14 that, “A gang of con men from Northern
Ireland is offering farmers in the Irish Republic a substance
which the men claim will induce BSE in cattle
for sums of over £5,000. Some farmers in financial
difficulty seek diseased animals to claim the very generous
BSE compensation paid by the state,”
McConnell explained.
A week later, McConnell published an official
denial by the Irish Department of Agriculture of a
report in another paper about a similar scheme, then
added, “The emphatic denial conceals a number of
concerns its staff have about levels of compensation
paid to farmers who produce diseased animals. Unlike
in the U.K., where only the infected animal is
destroyed, in the Republic all animals in a herd where
a case has been detected are destroyed. The farmer is
paid the market value of all the animals in the herd.”

McConnell went on to describe yet another
racket in which some British farmers unwilling to go
under quarantine for having a BSE-infected cow clandestinely
sell them to others, who claim the compensation
while the sellers go on serving their markets.
London Times agriculture correspondent
Michael Hornsby on August 31 revealed perhaps the
most dastardly compensation scheme to date. Oxford
livestock dealer David Muir and confederates were
buying unwanted male calves from French dairy farmers,
importing them into England 200 at a time in a
reversal of the former British veal export trade, closed
by months of sometimes violent street protest during
1994-1995, and taking them straight to be slaughtered,
rendered, and incinerated as if they were part of his
own BSE-infected herd.
“Provided the animals are less than 20 days
old, they qualify for a European Union subsidy of
£103 a head,” Hornsby wrote. The farmers got £80;
Hornsby got £5 as broker. The rest covered costs.

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