DEFRA‘S DECISION to introduce a cattle valuation system using a category card system based on the previous month‘s average market value has been heavily criticised by the National Beef Association.

Under the new system cattle confirmed with bovine TB, Brucellosis, BSE or Enzootic Bovine Lekosis will receive a book valuation as opposed to independent valuation.

The NBA has described the new system as a ‘lottery‘ saying “half the animals purchased will be overvalued and the other half undervalued”.

The system uses a simple table of 28 categories based on pedigree or non-pedigree, dairy or beef, and sex.

“Discussion with breeders and valuers reveals these proposals would be impossible for commercial and pedigree businesses to accept and compensation based on the value of individual animals is the only possible solution,” said Robert Robinson, NBA chairman.

“If the government continues to insist in standard valuations through a category card system we cannot see how it can fulfil its legal obligation to value every diseased animal properly and fairly, it will therefore be open to challenge through the courts,” he added.