Brecon and Radnor NFU members meeting in Builth Wells showed their anger at the consultation plans which look to moving from the current system of animals valued individually to one where the value of an animal is determined by reference to a table pre-populated with GB average livestock market sales data.
“Some of the comments within the Welsh Government document are quite insulting. In one place it even states that the current system does not provide sufficient incentive for farmers to keep disease out of their herd,” said Stuart Morris, the union’s county chairman.
“This is an outrageous statement. Despite receiving compensation for slaughtered cattle following a positive test, farm businesses suffer a heavy financial burden having to bear the consequential losses from the shortfall in milk sales or blood lines from a herd breakdown.
“There is also the cost of movement restrictions placed on affected farms, none of which are compensated for and, in some cases, run into tens of thousands of pounds.
“We are absolutely against the proposed move away from the current system,” he added.
“Moving to a crude and imprecise system of an average tabular valuation will mean that poor quality animals are overvalued, while good quality animals are undervalued.
“We do not believe that the 51 different categories of animals that the Welsh Government proposes to have in the valuation table will ever truly reflect the diverse values of different animals.
“These vary enormously according to breed, age, sex, pedigree status, seasonality and organic status. Neither will they be able to take into account geographical differences in prices that do arise.
“This consultation is a step too far and we ask that Welsh Government urgently reconsiders these damaging proposals.”