High Court Decision on TB Table Values

UK - NFU leaders took time out from their TB fightback campaign to welcome today's High Court judgment in the long-running TB compensation test case.
calendar icon 14 July 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

The NFU and its Legal Assistance Scheme had backed Devon dairy farmer David Partridge, the claimant in the case, who took 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' tables the Government introduced in February 2006, but fell far short of the real market value of the animals.

"The NFU has always argued that the way Defra implemented table values was grossly unfair to producers of high value"
NFU President Peter Kendall

Handing down his judgment this morning, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton found that Defra's approach to the valuation of high-value animals was unlawful. In applying average values to high-end cattle, Defra was discriminating against their owners without sufficient justification.

On hearing the news, NFU President Peter Kendall said: "The NFU has always argued that the way Defra implemented table values was grossly unfair to producers of high value, quality animals which are slaughtered for TB control purposes. We are pleased that a court has taken the same view.

"However, as I've said before, this should never have ended up in the courts. The NFU and all parts of the livestock industry have sought to work with Defra over the last five years to devise a scheme that strikes the right balance between pressures on the public purse and the losses suffered by livestock producers, including those who have invested in building up high quality herds.

"The events of the last week, with the Secretary of State announcing there is to be no co-ordinated action to deal with TB in wildlife, makes this decision all the more timely. Unless this disease is tackled on all fronts, farmers are left fighting it with one hand tied behind their back and will continue to see thousands of animals taken away for slaughter before their time.

"What a waste. Of productive livestock, of public money, and of an opportunity to do something about it."

Further Reading

- Find out more information on bovine tuberculosis by clicking here.

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