DEFRA proposals slammed

DEFRA‘S PLANS to introduce standard valuations for livestock disease compensation have been criticised by the NFU.

The new measures will give compensation for BSE, bovine TB, enzootic bovine leukosis and brucellosis based on the previous month‘s average market valuation. 

Against the advice of all industry stakeholders, DEFRA has introduced a simple table system which would place an infected animal into one of 29 categories.

The categories are split based on age, sex, sector (beef or dairy), and pedigree status (pedigree or non-pedigree).

The proposals form part of stage two of the government‘s intention to rationalise the compensation system and are due to be introduced in early 2005.

“DEFRA has ignored industry-wide concern about this approach,” said Meurig Raymond, NFU vice president.

“The department‘s response to criticism from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee has been ill thought out in terms of benefit to the taxpayer.

“Rather the government‘s concerns are born out of an historic lack of management control of animal disease compensation.

“The NFU raised its concerns with government a year ago and will continue to work with industry partners to convince DEFRA that an approach involving approved valuers must be the way forward,” he added.