Photo: Matthias Rietschel/Scanpix

Report: farmers should pay for disease control

A government commissioned study suggests farmers take more responsibility and cover a bigger part of the cost for preventing and battling disease among farm animals, Swedish Radio News reports. But critics claim the proposed changes will threaten the system with infectious disease control in Sweden, which is generally seen as successful.

According to the proposal, farmers will have to do more to identify the risks of infections spreading and also have a programme for how they should deal with those risks. They should also foot a larger part of the bill.

Every year, 10 million US dollars of tax payers money goes to preventing the spread of serious diseases. It was to find out how the cost could be reduced that the government commissioned the study, which was presented today.

But the Swedish Medical Association is concerned that it will have a negative effect on public health, and increase the risk of anti-biotic resistant bacteria in animals will spread to humans. And the Federation of Swedish Farmers warns that the proposed changes may contribute to the spread of salmonella.

The author of the study, Christer Vretborn, says he is aware the proposal is not popular among farmers. "Of course, no one likes to take a larger part of the cost, I can also understand that they don't think it is a good idea, but I hope that there will be insurance policies in this area," he talls Swedish Radio News.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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