DEFRA’s TB compensation system ‘unlawful’, court rules

A judge has backed a Devon livestock farmer who said DEFRA‘s system of compensation awarded for pedigree cattle slaughtered due to TB was unlawful.

David Partridge argued DEFRA’s ‘average values’ system of compensation should be replaced by a fairer system which took into account whether animals were of high-value pedigree.

Mr Partridge received less than a quarter of the value for 26 pedigree animals slaughtered in March 2006.

Without sufficient justification

Finding in favour of Mr Partridge at London’s High Court (14 July), Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said applying average values to high-end cattle meant DEFRA was discriminating farmers “without sufficient justification”.

NFU president Peter Kendall said he was pleased the court had agreed DEFRA’s table values were “grossly unfair” to producers.

But he said the matter should never had ended up in court.

“The NFU and all parts of the livestock industry have sought to work with DEFRA to devise a scheme that balances pressures on the public purse and the losses suffered by livestock producers, including those who have invested in building up high-quality herds,” he added.

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