Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has called for government compensation for firms affected by COVID outbreaks such as Banham Poultry, which is in his constituency.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Freeman said it was only fair to compensate for losses incurred either for culls or business shut downs.
“When we ask a business to shut down to help avoid COVID spreading through its workforce, like Banham Poultry, which has now lost £7 million and received no support, it’s only fair that we help them minimise business damage.”
He later tweeted, calling on Defra to pay out for culls of birds caused by plant closures. “When businesses like world class Banham Poultry have a member of staff test Covid positive, are asked to shut down to prevent local spread, they don’t just lose millions in lost revenues. They have to cull their livestock. That should be compensated. Otherwise there is an incentive NOT to report a Covid outbreak risking infection in UK food processing plants jeopardising a MUCH wider problem this winter Other countries pay 100% compensation for Covid culling. So should we.”
Banham Poultry started bringing back staff to work last week following a partial closure caused by a coronavirus cluster. During the closure 300,000 chickens had to be culled on farm as there was nowhere for them to be slaughtered in a processing plant.