NFU Takes Farmer Compensation Case to High Court

UK - NFU President Peter Kendall joined livestock producers on the steps of the High Court this morning as the challenge to the Government's approach to animal disease compensation got underway.
calendar icon 10 June 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

The NFU is supporting Devon farmer David Partridge, the claimant in the case. Mr Partridge is taking Defra to task over the level of compensation he received for a number of high value pedigree animals taken away for slaughter in March 2006. The sums paid were based on the 'average values' compensation table Defra had introduced in February of that year.

"Once again I would urge Defra to sit down with us and all players in the industry."
NFU President Peter Kendall

Commenting on the case, Mr Kendall said: "Of course we appreciate the compensation pot is not infinite, but that doesn't justify the blatant unfairness being meted out to farmers whose high-value animals are taken for slaughter.

"If the Government took decisive action to tackle bovine TB on all fronts, in partnership with farmers, I am convinced we would see the compensation bill fall in the long run. In the meantime they must right this wrong.

"It is incredibly frustrating this issue has ended up in the courts. All parts of the industry have tried to work with Defra in the past five years in an attempt to devise a scheme that strikes the right balance between pressures on the public purse and the losses suffered by livestock producers. Once again I would urge Defra to sit down with us and all players in the industry. Together we can hammer out a workable solution."

Head of agriculture at South West NFU panel law firm Clarke Willmott, acting for the claimant Partridge Farms, Tim Russ, said: "At last we have the opportunity to test the legality of the TB compensation scheme. It is causing such hardship and unfairness to livestock owners, who have invested in improving the genetic potential of their herds".

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