Written Answers. - Compensation Payments.

Billy Timmins

Question:

94 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the action he will take in respect of farmers who have not been paid for animals compulsorily slaughtered by a company (details supplied); his views on the fact that these farmers have had no compensation to date for the money lost; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4071/02]

The procedure for disposing of reactor animals under the TB and brucellosis disease eradication schemes operates on the basis that meat factories tender on a weekly basis for the slaughter of these animals and my Department selects the meat factories on the basis of the prices that they offer for different types of animals.

The compensation for reactor animals comprises the salvage value of the animal which is paid by the factory directly to the farmer and a reactor grant, or live valuation less the salvage value, paid to the farmer by my Department.

It is important to note that at all times the ownership of the reactor animal continues to reside with the farmer and, therefore, the contract for the salvage value is a matter between the farmer and the meat factory involved. My Department's responsibility is to ensure the secure removal of the animal to slaughter and to pay the appropriate compensation.

In the circumstances where a factory goes out of business, such as has happened in the case in question, the recovery of any moneys due to losses incurred by farmers is a matter for resolution between themselves and the company's liquidators.