There will be a full public consultation before any proposals to cut TB compensation in NI are rolled out, a UK government spokesperson has suggested.

NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris has asked civil servants to draw up a list of measures that would allow financial savings within government spending in NI.

DAERA previously confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that bovine TB policy was being reviewed to assess if “compensation is affordable” within its financial budgets.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Heaton-Harris’s department, the NI Office, said new ministers at Stormont would be expected to consider the budget saving measures put forward by civil servants.

“If this does not happen in a timely manner, it is the government’s intention then to direct a series of public consultations which will give the public and all interested parties an opportunity to consider the range of options being examined and to feed in their views,” the NI Office spokesperson said.

Court case

Meanwhile, a farmer from Co Fermanagh has been given permission to take a case to the High Court about a long running dispute with DAERA over bovine TB compensation.

The case stems from the farmer’s herd being slaughtered in 2007, amid a bovine TB outbreak.

An agreement on livestock values was not reached at the time and an appeal process about the valuations is still ongoing.

The judicial review, which is listed for hearing in November, surrounds the lack of annual interest whilst the appeal process is being completed.

It could potentially have implications for other farmers who have long running disputes with DAERA over payments, including for area-based schemes as well as bovine TB compensation.