The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has announced the compensation rates for animals which test positive for brucellosis in Northern Ireland this year.
Farmers with cattle that test positive for Brucellosis will receive partial compensation from DARD for the disposal of infected or 'reactor' animals.
The compensation is payable to farmers with cattle that react positively for brucellosis or animals that come in contact with 'reactors' that are destined for slaughtered from April of this year.
Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease of cattle that is characterised by abortions in cattle and can be transferred to humans with serious consequences for human health.
- 75% of the animal's market value, or 75% of £1,068.00 - whichever is the lessor.
- In the case of pedigree animals, compensation is paid at a rate of 75% of £1,360.
In September 2015, Northern Ireland received Official Brucellosis Free status (OBF).
Speaking last September, Northern Ireland's Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O'Nell said that the brucellosis testing requirements would be reduced as soon as possible.
“Attainment of OBF status for cattle is a highly significant milestone in the history of disease eradication here.
“For the first time in decades, not only is the North free of brucellosis, but the whole island of Ireland may now be regarded as being free from this devastating disease,” she said.
In February of this year, pre-export testing for brucellosis in Northern Ireland was abolished.
As a result, cattle over 12 months of age no longer require brucellosis testing prior to export to the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as to other EU Member States.