IFA says that problems with the live valuation scheme continue to mount for farmers.
The organisation’s Animal Health Chairman, Bert Stewart said the issuing of guideline prices on a weekly basis by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine was not representative of actual market prices.
“This,” he added “Is compounding existing problems that farmers have with the live valuation scheme”.
The IFA Chairman went on to say that while market prices had strengthened for breeding animals and in particular for dairy animals, the Department’s prices did not reflect this reality. “Some categories of animal have risen in price by up to €200/hd on the open market, with little or no recognition of this in the Department prices,” he added.
“The complete erosion of the independence of the live valuers in the scheme is also compounding the issue, with valuers forced to apply criteria that interferes with the independent market value assessment.”
Mr Stewart then pointed to the live valuation scheme as being the primary compensation scheme of the TB Eradication Programme.
“This is built on the principle of independent valuers determining the market value of animals being removed from the farm as TB reactors,” he said, before indicating that issues including instructions to valuers to reduce the liveweight of animals being assessed by 25kg; adherence to guideline prices unless documentary evidence was provided, and the threat of sanctions where kill out percentage or quality assessments were not within narrow and subjective parameters, were all examples of how the scheme was failing farmers and removing the opportunity of a fair market value assessment.
“IFA has raised this issue directly with the Minister and is demanding the re-establishment of the key principles of the scheme and the provision of a fair market value assessment for all TB reactor animals.”