FUW welcomes retention of TB compensation system

The Farmers’ Union of Wales today welcomed deputy farming and food minister Rebecca Evans’ announcement that Welsh TB compensation rates for compulsorily purchased cattle will continue to use the current valuation system.

Earlier this year, the FUW responded to a Welsh Government consultation on TB compensation rates in Wales by vociferously objecting to any move towards a tabular system which used average market pricing.

FUW vice president and the union’s TB spokesman Brian Walters said: “Animals placed on the market do not necessarily reflect the standards of those that remain on farm, particularly in the case of pedigree herds. Tabular values could, therefore, act as a disincentive to keeping higher value animals particularly in areas where TB is prevalent.

“Indeed the tabular system would have rewarded poorer quality animals and could have had a negative effect on the use of herd improvement technologies such as genetic and genomics.”

The retention of the current valuation system comes with some notable changes. Extra measures will be put in place to scrutinise pedigree valuations above £3,000 and there will be a cap of £15,000 for payments made on pedigree animals. There will also be a review of the use of veterinary improvement notices and penalties for risky practises.

“Using average market prices as a basis for payments would have been wholly unjust and would have inevitably reduced the amount of compensation paid to many farmers here in Wales,” added Mr Walters.

“We are, therefore, pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to our representations on this matter and that our opinions have been taken on board.

“The union will now be seeking more information on how this added scrutiny will function in practise and will be working to ensure that the increased use of veterinary improvement notices is both proportionate and appropriate.”

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