Farming families in crisis

Farming Families in Crisis. A profile of the recipients of RABI and ARC-Addington Fund grants  during the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. S P Carruthers, 2002.

The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemic of 2001 resulted in the slaughter of more than six million livestock on nearly 10,000 farms – equivalent to about 5% of all UK farms and 10% of livestock farms. The strict controls on the movement of animals and the prevention or delaying of sales impacted much more widely, affecting nearly all livestock businesses and bringing some into severe financial crisis.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and the ARC-Addington Fund (ARC-Addington) provided financial assistance to farming families experiencing hardship as a result of the epidemic. The remits of the two donors are complementary. RABI provides assistance with domestic bills; ARC-Addington has a wider remit and assists businesses, and is, hence, able to help in situations where RABI cannot. The Farm Crisis Network (FCN) and the Rural Stress Information Network (RSIN) not only assisted applicants to access grants, but also supported many others affected by the crisis.

The objective of the study was to analyse and provide an account of the characteristics and condition of recipients of RABI and ARC-Addington grants during the FMD epidemic, using the information contained in samples of application forms. The analysis examined regional variation and, where possible, made comparisons between grant recipients and the farming population as a whole.

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