Farmer takes TB compensation case to Lords

A Devon dairy farmer who claimed DEFRA’s bovine tuberculosis valuation system was discriminatory and unfair is set to take his case to the House of Lords.

David Partridge is being backed by the NFU in his decision to challenge a ruling handed down by the court of Appeal Earlier this month.

Last July the High Court ruled that DEFRA’s approach to valuing high-value cattle was unlawful.

But in March the Court of Appeal said there was no discrimination in DEFRA’s approach to valuing animals.

Appeal court judge Lord Justice Lawrence Collins backed DEFRA’s claim that the true value of any animal, once it had tested positive for TB, was the salvage value of its carcass.

Despite the ruling, the NFU said it had decided to support Mr Partridge in a petition to the House of Lords in a bid to overturn the decision.

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said the Court of Appeal’s judgement was “extremely disappointing” and the union supported Mr Partridge’s decision to appeal.

“The NFU has always argued that the way DEFRA implemented table values was grossly unfair to producers of high-value, high-quality animals which are slaughtered for TB control purposes,” he added.

Mr Partridge brought the case with backing from the NFU after he lost a number of animals to slaughter in 2006 and received about £1000 per head – one-third of their individually-assessed market value.

The action is also being supported by the Devon legal fund which represents more than 3000 farmers in Devon.