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Country News - 2002

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Gill denies NFU split
Thurs 04 March

NFU President Ben Gill, who farms at Easingwold, near York, today denied the union was facing a massive split - or even total disintegration - in the aftermath of the foot and mouth crisis.

The union has been under attack from many quarters since backing the Government's slaughter policy as opposed to vaccination.

Other criticisms include claims by small farmers that the NFU only represents the "big boys" and allegations from cereal growers that, although they pay the biggest part of the union's income, they receive less support that the livestock sector.

Speaking before an important meeting in London, Mr Gill dismissed suggestions that the union could not properly represent such a wide ranger of interests - "diversity is one of our strengths," he said.

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