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Managing compensation for economic losses in areas surrounding foot and mouth disease outbreaks: the response of France

Author(s) : M.-H. Cassagne

Summary :

This article describes the French scheme for providing compensation to stock farmers located in the prevention and surveillance zones in the vicinity of foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak sites and for economic losses suffered as a result of restrictions on animal and animal product movement. As early as 1991, the Groupements de Défense Sanitaire (GDS: Animal Health Groups – associations of stock farmers dealing with health issues, recognised under French law) set up a Compensation Fund that was put to use during the FMD episode of 2001. The Fund paid out FRF6,488,000 (€989,000) to stockbreeders in the five affected departments (French local administrative divisions). Based on the principle of a national mutual benefit society, the Compensation Fund is the first instance of a system of private compensation, outside of conventional insurance schemes, based on a convention between French stock farmers. With decentralised management and speed of implementation, the Compensation Fund has proved its worth. The Fund now needs to be adjusted on the basis of changes introduced in FMD control policy in France and possibly the European Union.

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