The TB finance group began its work on farmer compensation payments at its first meeting on Thursday, with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue saying there was positive and constructive discussion.
The group has four terms of reference:
The Minister said that the TB Eradication Programme is the largest animal health programme and is subject to substantial financial support from farmers and taxpayers.
“In recognition of this, the terms of reference for the finance working group tasks them with a heavy workload, particularly the need to ensure that the TB Programme is sustainably and appropriately funded in line with the principles of the National Farmed Animal Health Strategy.
“If the objectives of the group are to be achieved, it is vital that all stakeholders work together in a constructive and cooperative manner. I am tasking this working group with delivering for farmers. It needs to be a success and I am strongly encouraging all those involved to work together to deliver for our farm families.
“I am aware that the first meeting of the group today had a very positive start, with all parties expressing their commitment to achieving the objectives as set down in the terms of reference. I look forward to seeing the results of this group when they report to the Forum,” he said.
A series of follow-up meetings are planned to progress the matters under discussion.