Scottish farmers have demanded compensation from the government over last year's foot and mouth crisis, claiming tens of millions of pounds were lost by rural businesses and that production of red meat is still being hampered.

A petition signed by thousands of farmers has been taken to Downing Street calling for compensation, stating that the government should take responsibility for the outbreak of foot and mouth at its Pirbright lab.

Scottish farming leaders insist that the £25m compensation they received from the Scottish government only represented a fraction of the losses suffered by farmers, processors and other rural businesses.

They also say the agricultural industry's swift response to the crisis saved the taxpayers "billions of pounds".

"Given the source of this outbreak we believe there is a clear duty on the UK government to compensate," said NFU Scotland chief executive Andy Robertson.

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