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A farmer who went bankrupt as a result of the governmentís foot and mouth restrictions in 2001 is taking DEFRA to court.

Jason Podmore from Staffordshire told Mark Holdstock that the governmentís failure to properly implement a European directive from 1980 was to blame for the outbreak of the disease. He says the UK should have stopped farmers from using pigswill that they hadnít boiled themselves, as required by the directive.

The farmer at the centre of the 2001 outbreak, Bobby Waugh from Northumberland did not have his own processing equipment, he used his neighbours plant instead.

Mr Podmore argues that if the directive had been implemented Mr Waugh would not have been granted a licence as a swill farmer. He claims that under European Law, national governments are responsible for the financial consequences of failing to implement European directives.

DEFRA is fighting the case.

For more on the Podmore/Dring case see the warmwell FMD home page