The TB compensation caps are no longer working, are outdated and the Department of Agriculture must take action to ensure farmers are not seriously short changed when it comes to TB compensation, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell has said.

“The on-farm market valuation scheme (OFMV) is there to ensure that farmers receive compensation in line with the market value – what an animal is likely to make on the open market – at the time of valuation.

“However, a cap of €3,000 applies in respect of any individual bovine animal, and herein lies the issue. This prevents farmers with cattle valued in excess of €3,000 from getting the compensation they deserve.”


He said it is now common to see cattle selling for above €3,000 in the marts on a regular basis, so it is clear that these caps must be removed in order to fairly compensate farmers.

“The Department simply cannot ignore the fact that cattle, and pedigree cattle in particular, have become more valuable and farmers who are not compensated to the true value of their animals are being wiped out.

"Not only that, but valuable pedigree bloodlines are being wiped out, as these farmers are not being facilitated through the OFMV to replace like with like,” he said.

The only exceptions to the €3,000 cap are stock bulls or pedigree stock bulls, maximum one per breakdown, which can be compensated to up to €4,000 and €5,000 respectively, the ICSA said.

TB forum

Farrell said the TB forum must start focusing on the financial aspects of the eradication scheme.

“Week in, week out, additional disease prevention measures are being placed on farmers by the Department, while they continue to drag their heels on negotiations around additional financial supports for farmers.

“This has to stop and the Department must square up to the reality that farmers cannot do more unless they move on increasing compensation levels which must start with removing these outdated cap,” he said.