Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
I would like to inform Members that the summary of responses to the consultation on proposals to amend the Tuberculosis (Wales) Order 2010 has been published today on the Welsh Government website.
I previously decided against introducing a table valuation for compensation, and instead decided to keep the current system of individual on-farm valuations - but with enhancements. As part of the consultation I sought views on my plans to expand the circumstances in which we can reduce compensation where a person has not complied with the rules. These proposals are based on feedback from farming industry representatives and individual farmers and are aimed at striking a balance between compensating farmers fairly for the loss of their animals whilst also incentivising cattle keepers to minimize the risks of the disease spreading and penalising risky behavior.
The consultation ran for 12 weeks and we received 18 responses from a range of organisations, businesses and individuals who set out their views on the proposals. After careful consideration I have decided to change our legislation to introduce measures which will penalise people who are undertaking risky practices which can contribute to the spread of TB and jeopardise the success the TB Eradication Programme.
I believe that the vast majority of farmers abide by the rules and are working with us to eradicate this disease. For these people, little about how their animals are valued or compensated will change and I expect that in the vast majority of cases full compensation based on market value will continue to be paid. The new legislation will provide us with the powers to reduce compensation for those people who have broken the rules. Whilst the legislation is being drafted over the coming months my officials will engage with the farming industry to discuss any practical issues and communicate these changes before they come in to force.