Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2028)

Niamh Smyth


2028. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) can return to work on their farm. [31472/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The farm belonging to the person named entered a new TB breakdown on 1st March 2019 as a result of reactors being identified in a post de-restriction test, with further reactors disclosed on the first reactor retest on 8th June 2019.

When a TB breakdown occurs, certain controls are put in place in an effort to eradicate the disease from that holding and to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading to other holdings. These controls are a critical part of TB Eradication programme and are to the overall benefit of farmers. The local regional veterinary office (RVO) personnel communicate with farmers in person once a herd enters a TB Breakdown outlining the exact TB controls that are to be put in place as a result of a Herd TB Breakdown.

A meeting between the herd owner and his representative and officials from my Department was held in mid April 2019, at which the TB situation in respect of this farm was outlined. A letter also issued to the herd owner on 21st June 2019 indicating that staff from my Department would be available to meet should a further meeting need to take place in relation to the TB outbreak.

In relation to TB compensation, this herd already received payment in relation to reactor grant on 17th April 2019 and is due a further reactor grant payment in mid-July 2019. The herd will also be eligible for Income Supplement compensation from 24th July 2019.

As regards compensation, a comprehensive regime is in place for herd owners who are affected by bovine TB, including compensation both for direct and indirect losses. The primary compensation scheme for TB affected herds is the On-Farm Market Valuation (OFMV) Scheme under which compensation is payable for cattle removed as reactors on the basis of the open market value, subject to certain ceiling limits. Herd owners with restricted and TB affected herds may also qualify for supplementary payments under the Income Supplement and Hardship Grants Schemes subject to compliance with the relevant criteria. Entitlement to compensation is conditional on herd owners complying with the provisions of National and EU legislative requirements and controls relating to animal welfare, disease, movement and identification.