Agriculture

Tipperary farming: TB review of compensation levels is criticised

Farmers are being 'shortchanged'

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Tipperary farming: TB review of compensation levels is criticised

Tipperary farming: TB review of compensation levels is criticised

A Department of Agriculture report that suggests TB compensation levels are set too high has come under fire.

“This report - the Spending Review of the TB Eradication Programme - will make no sense to any farmer who has endured a TB outbreak,” said ICSA animal health chair Hugh Farrell.

He said it was patently wrong to suggest the current levels of TB compensation amounts to more than the value of the animal.

“It is simply an incorrect calculation that does not take into consideration the overall financial impact of a TB breakdown,” he said.

He said that, far from being overcompensated, farmers were short changed when it comes to TB compensation, with farmers paying €35.2m into the programme between 2012 and 2018, an increase of 14%, while Department's contribution had risen by 8% or €1.4m.

He said that the TB Forum must be reconvened to examine these conclusions.

Meanwhile, IFA animal health chairman Pat Farrell said the review jeopardised ongoing farmer support for the TB eradication scheme.

He said that the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service, who carried out the review, had adopted a a simplistic budget cut approach to the scheme.

Mr Farrell said the Minister and his officials should not take for granted that farmers will continue to contribute €35m a year to a programme that returns only €18m in compensation to affected farmers.