Farmers in Wales will see compensation payments for bovine TB reactors slashed under a range of circumstances, including bringing animals into restricted herds in full compliance with TB rules.
Deputy Food and Farming Minister Rebecca Evans confirmed the introduction of new legislation to ‘penalise people who are undertaking risky practices which can contribute to the spread of TB’ on Monday.
Mrs Evans had previously decided against following England in introducing a table valuation compensation system but said she was enhancing the current system of individual on-farm valuations.
Already compensation payments are deducted by up to 95 per cent in certain circumstances such as a failure to TB test animals as required by the law and a failure to comply with the requirements of a Veterinary Improvement Notice.
The consultation proposed a whole raft of new circumstances under which compensation could be reduced in a similar, the most significant being where an animal has been slaughtered because of TB after it had been brought in entirely legally, under licence, to a restricted herd.
The Welsh Government said: “We feel that this proposal allows the person to restock for business reasons but means they share the financial risk of bringing healthy cattle into herds with a known TB problem.”
While the British Veterinary Association welcomed the proposal in its consultation,
But NFU Cymru warned reducing compensation to 5 per cent of market value in these circumstances was ‘hugely draconian’ and said it must be accompanied by greater flexibility in the rules governing licensed movements.
The Farmers Union of Wales said the proposal could place farmers ’adhering to the conditions of an already restrictive licence in an untenable position financially’.
Other situations proposed in the consultation where compensation could be reduced included:
The compensation reductions will vary depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offence.
The new legislation will be drafted over the coming months when the final details will be thrashed out.
Mrs Evans said: "In the vast majority of cases full compensation based on market value will continue to be paid.
"The new legislation will provide us with the powers to reduce compensation for those people who have broken the rules."