A compensation payment for farmers of up to €5,000 per cow is being considered by the Food Vision Dairy Group.

The latest report from the group has said the move would “directly reduce agricultural activity” in Ireland and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Department of Agriculture estimates the move would take 45,000t of carbon dioxide equivalent out of the atmosphere for every 10,000 cows culled.

Preliminary analysis by the Department suggests a cow value, if based on the TB valuation scheme, might be in the order of €4,300 per cow.

This means that if 10,000 cows were culled from the national herd then it would cost €43m, or €430m per 100,000 cows.

However, additional analysis suggests a payment of over €5,000 per cow is necessary to compensate the farmer for loss of earnings.