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The Prime Minister received a situation report on foot and mouth disease from NFU President Ben Gill when they met yesterday.

Mr Gill gave an update on how the Government's more aggressive policy is dealing with the delays in identification, slaughter and destruction of infected animals that have caused farmers so much distress.

He also discussed in more detail proposals for a compensation package to cover farmers' consequential losses and to help the industry recover in the long term.

Final views on the much-needed welfare scheme for animals trapped away from their farms and in restricted areas were also presented to the Prime Minister.

Mr Gill was be accompanied by NFU Cymru Wales President Hugh Richards and Director General Richard Macdonald as well as NFU Scotland President JimWalker and Douglas Rowe, President of Ulster Farmers' Union at the 12.30pm Downing Street meeting.

Mr Gill said: "It is vital that we keep the Prime Minister fully informed about how the desperate situation is progressing.

"We also need to firm up the details of the proposed recovery package urgently. Farmers need something concrete to hold onto during this disaster."

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