Claim TB valuers fear losing jobs if they are deemed 'too favourable' to farmers
The Department of Agriculture should allow valuers to do their job when it comes to the live valuation system for TB reactors, according to ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chairman Hugh Farrell.
He has said that when it comes to breeding stock, or animals with show potential, there has to be flexibility in the system to allow valuers to give an honest and true assessment of what an animal is worth.
“In these cases, average price ranges from thousands of animals sold in marts each week is meaningless,” he said.
Farrell also said that ICSA is concerned that too much subtle pressure is being put on valuers to avoid giving the real value of a high calibre cow or heifer.
“As it stands, the odds are stacked against a farmer who has TB reactors. While the farmer can appeal the valuation, so too can the Department.
“The panel is selected by the Department in the first case, but we hear stories of valuers being afraid that they will be removed from the panel if they are deemed too favourable to farmers,” he claimed.
Farrell said while everybody accepts that valuations should be accurate, it claimed is manifestly the case that some animals, particularly breeding animals, can be worth several hundred euros in excess of the typical price.
“Penny pinching over this is a pointless exercise in the context of the overall budget because we are only talking about a very small minority of animals.