Longford IFA chief slams department over Livestock Valuation Scheme

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

IFA hits out at Department

Questions have been raised over the Department of Agriculture's handling of the Live Valuation Scheme

Longford IFA Animal Health Chairman, Tony Bohan, has strongly criticised the inactivity of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine on key issues raised by IFA in relation to the Live Valuation Scheme.

“IFA has raised very serious problems since last year with the Minister and his senior department officials about the accuracy of the guideline prices and the lack of independence of the live valuers,” he said, before pointing out that such matters were preventing farmers from achieving a fair and accurate market value assessment of their animals.

“The key element of the Live Valuation Scheme and the fundamental principle it is built on is the independence of the live valuers.

“This has been seriously undermined by the use of non-market criteria in assessing the value of animals and compounded by the bureaucratic approach by the Department with the live valuers.”

Mr Bohan went on to say that IFA had identified key elements of the Valuers’ Code of Practice and the Guidelines for Valuers that needed to be amended in order to provide a fair and accurate valuation of TB reactors.

“Serious concerns have also been raised with the Minister and his officials in relation to the accuracy of the guideline prices compiled weekly by the Department,” the chairman continued.

“Cows which still have a number of years of breeding and production are being deemed to have a higher cull value; this clearly points to the gross inaccuracy in the current guideline prices.”

He said that in order to provide a fair reference point for all breeding animals, the guideline prices must be compiled only from full clearance and dispersal sales, as agreed when the scheme was established nearly 20 years ago.

“These key issues,” he concluded, “must be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure all farmers losing animals as TB reactors are provided with the opportunity to have their animals assessed fairly and accurately.”