Less than 3% of stock valuations carried out on foot of a TB breakdown in a herd were appealed by the Department of Agriculture or farmers in 2020.
The number of valuations carried out under the TB programme has been steadily increasing in line with deteriorating disease trends, rising from 4,000 in 2016 to 5,700 last year.
The highest number of appeals over the last five years was in 2016 when 4% of all valuations were appealed
When a herd suffers a TB breakdown, the farmer is offered a choice of valuers from those operating in the geographical area. In the vast majority of cases, the valuation is accepted by both the farmer and the Department.
However, a certain percentage of valuations are appealed every year, though this has fallen in recent times.
The highest number of appeals over the last five years was in 2016 when 4% of all valuations were appealed, 105 by the Department and 60 by farmers.
Last year just 2.4% were appealed. Of those, 103 were by the Department and 32 were by farmers.
In general, the Department has been more likely to reject first valuations, accounting for two out of every three appeals.
This trend reverses on second valuations, with farmers more likely to reject the value arrived at following an appeal.
The number of cases going to arbitration has been declining and is down from a high of 45 in 2016
For the most part, the second valuation is accepted by both parties. If it is rejected, the case proceeds to arbitration where the value is decided upon by the independent arbitration panel.
In 2020, just 12 cases were referred to arbitration – 10 by the farmer and two by the Department. The number of cases going to arbitration has been declining and is down from a high of 45 in 2016.
The On Farm Market Valuation Scheme under which valuations take place is one of the significant spending areas in the TB programme. Last year, €14m in TB compensation was paid to farmers under the scheme.