rationalise compensation for notifiable diseases.
Animal health and welfare minister Ben Bradshaw said the central aim
system that will deliver predictable levels of compensation for
livestock farmers who lose stock to notifiable animal diseases.
At the same time, the measures will take into account the significant
differences in value between commercial and pedigree stock.
Mr Bradshaw said:
'Lessons have been learned from foot and mouth disease, in particular
the need for a system which is both efficient and is transparently
fair from both the farmer and the taxpayer's point of view.'
The current lack of certainty over compensation payments has a
fundamental effect on livestock owners' business decisions, and the
proposals will offer fair compensation to farmers and avoid
over-valuations of livestock. Both the recent National Audit Office
and Public Accounts Committee highlighted weaknesses in the
government's control and monitoring of valuations during the 2001 FMD
At present, compensation payments are paid in three different ways.
Farmers who lose stock to diseases such as bovine TB and foot and
mouth disease are paid on the basis of individual valuations. For
some farmers who suffer losses from BSE receive a fixed level of
compensation depending on the type of animal. And cases of
brucellosis and scrapie, compensation can be calculated through a
monthly average livestock market price.
The consultation paper covers the following proposals
* all animal diseases for which the government currently pays
compensation will eventually be covered by the scheme.
* the scheme will be implemented in two stages. The first stage
will cover bovine TB, enzootic bovine leucosis, brucellosis and BSE,
which do not require primary legislation. The secon d stage will cover
all other species and diseases and will be addressed through primary
* regardless of the disease, the same compensation rate will be
paid for categories within individual species.
* standardised category based systems will be developed for cattle,
sheep, pigs and poultry.
* compensation rates will be equivalent to the average market price
for each category of animal where there is sufficient market data.
* the market values for cattle and sheep will be calculated and
published on a monthly basis. Compensation for other species will be
calculated when required.
* a mechanism for continuing the calculation of market values if
markets are suspended in the event of a major disease outbreak.
* animals worth significantly more than the average market value
for an animal in their category can be pre-valued and registered with
Defra. In such cases the compensation payable will be equivalent to
the current pre-valuation.
1. Recent disease outbreaks, such as the classical swine fever
outbreak in 2000 and the FMD outbreak in 2001, along with the
continuing problems of bovine TB, BSE and scrapie, has highlighted
that current compensation arrangements for disease control are
fragmented, and in some cases contradictory.
2. The Scottish Executive and Northern Ireland are producing their
own consultation papers on the rationalisation of compensation for
notifiable animal diseases.
3. Responses to the consultation document, which can be found hereshould be sent
to Joe Parsons, Animal Disease Control Division, Defra, Room 107, 1a
Page Street, London, SW1P 4PQ (Tel: 020 7904 8168) (Fax: 020 7904
6128) or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. The deadline for responses is 7 January 2004