In 2013, the Department of Agriculture paid €10.5m to 3,376 herdowners under TB Eradication scheme. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, made the announcement this week in response to a parliamentary question from Deputy Brendan Griffin.

He was asked whether he will review and increase the income supplement for farmers who find themselves locked up long term by the district veterinary office in view of the additional financial costs incurred by farmers in this position.

The primary compensation measure available under the TB Eradication Scheme to herdowners, whose holdings are restricted due TB and who have reactor animals removed, is the On Farm Market Valuation scheme. In addition, herdowners may also qualify for additional payments under the Income Supplement, Hardship or Depopulation Grant schemes subject to compliance with the criteria applying in each scheme.

According to the Minister, under the Income Supplement scheme, grants are payable in those cases where the breakdown results in the removal of more than 10% of animals from the herd, where depopulation is not deemed appropriate, subject to other qualification criteria being met.

The rates payable range from €25.39 to €38.09 per month, per animal, depending on the type of animal removed. Payments are subject to a maximum of 100 animals qualifying for payment. Eligible herdowners continue to receive monthly payments throughout the breakdown period. Grants of €1.5m were paid to 934 herdowners under this scheme in 2013.

The Minister stated that he is satisfied that the current rates of the Income Supplement scheme are appropriate, particularly in prevailing budgetary circumstances.