Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Duke of Westminster Matches Charles Aid as Cases Reach 235

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Duke of Westminster Matches Charles Aid as Cases Reach 235

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK SAWER;GERAINT SMITH

THE Duke of Westminster is matching the Prince of Wales's [pound]500,000 lifeline thrown to farmers, the Prince revealed today.

Speaking as he toured a rundown housing estate in north London, Prince Charles said he was "delighted" that the Duke, one of the country's biggest landowners, was joining him in helping those hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The royal donation was announced last night because the prince is concerned about the risk of suicides in rural communities. Asked today how he hoped his own handout would help, Prince Charles said: "I'm hoping that the money will provide more assistance. I'm delighted, by the way, that the Duke of Westminster has come in to match the money. I'm rather hoping it might generate more help and concern."

News of the second donation came as Agriculture Minister Nick Brown today prepared to address the Commons on the worsening crisis and outline plans for the pre-emptive slaughter of up to 100,000 disease-free sheep. The announcement follows a dreadful day yesterday that saw the first confirmation of a case in France spread from Britain, and the highest number of outbreaks confirmed in a single day.

This morning a further four outbreaks were confirmed, bringing the total to 235 in Britain. Three of the new cases are in Cumbria, and one in Devon. The slaughter will be of animals that may have come into contact with the disease at any one of the numerous markets - including Longtown in Cumbria, Welshpool in Powys, Northampton and Hexham in Northumberland - known to have been infected with the disease in February.

The Prince of Wales, who has had the virus reported on one of his tenanted farms on Dartmoor, told Mr Brown of his personal donation when they met at St James's Palace to discuss the outbreak yesterday.

Prince Charles said: "I want to do everything I can to help these farmers and their families keep their heads above water. …

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