New bovine tuberculosis compensation rules have been blasted by the farming community as being ‘lazy’ and ’contentious’.
A new briefing note, published last week, included a reduction in compensation of 50 per cent for animals which arrived at the slaughterhouse too dirty to process.
From November 1, the same penalty will also apply for animals brought in to a herd during a TB breakdown which were ‘subsequently removed as reactors or direct contacts prior to the herd regaining official TB status’.
But Cheshire dairy farmer and Farmers Guardian In your Field writer Phil Latham blasted the ‘contentious and frustrating’ move.
Mr Latham said: “If you happen to be a closed herd living next to a high risk trading activity and by no fault of your own you are exposed to a level of risk, why on earth should you be paid the same level of compensation as someone who is trading riskily?
“It is a lazy way of reducing the cost of compensation.
“The best way would be to trade down in compensation if you trade up in risk. If you are trading riskily then you should not be paid any compensation at all.”
While the rules did say compensation would be paid for privately slaughtered reactors if found to be totally condemned for reasons of TB only – which Mr Latham welcomed – he questioned how many people would be privately gamma testing.
A Defra spokesman added: “The UK has some of the highest standards of animal welfare in the world.
“Reduced compensation for unclean cattle presented to slaughterhouses has been introduced to incentivise best practice – and ensure animals are treated with respect and care they deserve at all phases of their life.”