New survey reveals that foot and mouth cost the equestrian industry more than £235 million last year

A survey by the British Equestrian Trade Association into the impact of FMD shows the overall downturn in turnover across the whole trade averaged 10 per cent – around £235 million in total.

More than 90 retail businesses and 20 suppliers were forced to close due to the crisis.

The surveyis the first official look at the effects on the industry as a whole after the event.

Claire Williams, BETA chief executive and secretary, said:”The amount lost to equestrian businesses was more than expected – probably by around £50 million. It’s difficult to calculate the exact amounts lost because of the inability to capitalise on investments in marketing campaigns and product launches made early in the year.

“The overriding long-term impact of FMD will be in the slowing down of growth due to the lack of investment both last year, as well as for some in this year.”

However, the picture for retailers and businesses is not all doom and gloom.

The association found that there hasbeen a “significant” increase in turnover for both retailers and suppliers by the end of last year.

“Many businesses were forced to seriously re-assess their activities and business practices, ” said Claire.

“This has resulted in many diversifying into new markets, products and marketing activities. Having survived this adversity, the industry may in the long term become stronger.”

  • Find out how the BBC helped the equine industry during FMD
  • Check out the government’s actions to help equestrian businesses survive the FMD crisis