The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that the brucellosis compensation rates for August 2023 in Northern Ireland will remain unchanged. This means that the compensation payable for reactors and negative in contacts, for which notice of intended slaughter is issued in August 2023, will be either 75% of the animal’s market value or 75% of £2,268 (75% of £2,568 in the case of pedigree animals). DAERA has clarified that the selected measure will be whichever figure is the lesser of the two options.
The purpose of this compensation is to provide support to herdkeepers when their animals are compulsorily removed under the Brucellosis Control Order (Northern Ireland) 2004. It is important to note that the compensation rates for August are the same as those of May, June, and July.
Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease of cattle caused by a bacterium. It can spread when animals come into contact with infected female cattle, aborted foetuses, or discharged placental tissues and fluids. The consequences of brucellosis can be severe, including abortion storms in infected females, decreased milk yields, infertility, weak calves, and significant financial loss.
Brucellosis reactors are animals that have failed a serology blood test for brucellosis and are therefore subject to slaughter and related compensation. DAERA has emphasized that the compensation payable to the herdowner will never exceed 100% of the market value. The “market value” of an animal is defined in the Brucellosis Control Order as the price that could reasonably have been obtained for it at the time of valuation from a purchaser in the market if it had been free from disease.
To determine the value of the animals, a DAERA valuation officer will contact affected farmers to schedule appointments for on-farm valuations. The officer will first verify the identification of the reactor and may mark the animal. Subsequently, based on their own knowledge and experience, the officer will assess the current market value of the reactor.
It is important for herdkeepers to be aware of these compensation rates and the procedures involved, as they play a crucial role in managing and controlling the spread of brucellosis. By promptly reporting and addressing cases of brucellosis, farmers can help protect their herds and prevent further financial losses. DAERA continues to work towards eradicating this disease and ensuring the welfare of cattle in Northern Ireland.
In conclusion, the compensation rates for brucellosis in Northern Ireland for August 2023 will remain unchanged. Herdkeepers will receive compensation based on either 75% of the animal’s market value or 75% of £2,268 (75% of £2,568 for pedigree animals), whichever is the lesser amount. It is crucial for farmers to understand the implications of brucellosis and the importance of early detection and reporting. By working together with DAERA, we can strive towards a brucellosis-free future for Northern Ireland’s cattle industry.