Defra pledges £250k to snow-hit sheep farmers

Defra has announced it will pay up to £250,000 to farmers who lost sheep killed in last month's freak snow in England. Credit: PA

Farmers whose sheep were killed in last month's freak snow in England will be reimbursed for their losses, Defra announced today.

Farming Minister David Heath said up to £250,000 will be available to farmers to cover the cost of removing livestock that perished in severe weather conditions.

Heath said: “As I saw on my recent visit to Cumbria, the loss of sheep in recent snow has taken a terrible emotional and financial toll on farmers. We have been working with the National Fallen Stock Company to find the fairest way to help them meet the cost of removing their stock."

Defra has already permitted farmers to bury or burn livestock onsite if snow makes it difficult to get them to a collection vehicle, and has relaxed rules on driver hours to allow extra time for essential deliveries of animal feed.