Scaring chickens costs MoD £42,000
Published 13/01/2010 | 09:18
A farmer has been paid £42,000 by the Ministry of Defence after he claimed his chickens laid fewer eggs because they were frightened by the noise from jets including the Red Arrows.
The case was just one of several claims paid out by the MoD between 2006 and 2009 after complaints over noise from military jets.
British troops wounded while fighting for their country in Afghanistan or Iraq often received much less during the same period, but the MoD stressed that courts decided the amounts which it has to pay in civil compensation.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request by The Sun newspaper show the Staffordshire farmer received £42,000 in the financial year 2006/07 following the noise from various jets, which included the Hercules and Tornado.
The MoD also paid £52,000 after someone suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of low-flying jets on exercise over Devon, and £117,000 to someone in Yorkshire whose racehorse fatally injured itself after being spooked by jets, the figures show.
But Trooper Sean Chance, 23, of the Queen's Royal Hussars, received £5,000 after losing three toes in an explosion caused by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2004, the Sun reported.
Mr Chance, of Birmingham, told the newspaper: "There's no justice. I must live like this for the rest of my life. I should have gone into chicken farming."
But an MoD spokesman said: "Comparing payments made through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and civil litigation is misleading as it is not a like for like comparison.
"Seriously injured personnel also receive a guaranteed, index-linked and tax-free monthly income for life which can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
"We have increased the maximum lump sum to £570,000 for the most serious injuries and the scheme is currently being independently reviewed to see what further improvements can be made."