Disease levies may rise to pay brucellosis cost
ANIMAL disease levies are set to increase to meet the spiraling cost of brucellosis compensation but the increase won't be as high as feared.
An expected trade-off on levies, compensation rates and who foots the bill for the 30 day pre-movement test is likely to emerge over the coming week.
With farmers objecting to carrying the cost of brucellosis testing its now thought likely that the Department will carry some of the cost of the test its possible that the Department may carry up to two thirds of the total test costs, estimated at £3 million.
The thorny issue of cuts in compensation levels has also to be resolved with farmers opposed to any drop in compensation levels.
The uncertainty over when the 30 day test is to introduced is affecting the marketing of stock, according to mart representatives.
Gus Egan, chairman of Associated Livestock Marts and manager of Loughrea Mart claimed that the proposals on testing and the lack of clarity from the Department are causing fear among farmers which is prompting earlier marketing of females and particularly cows than would otherwise be the case.
A top level meeting between the ICMSA and the Department last week is thought to have clinched the issue of payment for testing, with a proposal to accept a one-sale per test in exchange for the Department carrying a major part of the £3m cost of the 30-day test.
However, the association refused to be drawn on the meeting.