POULTRY FARMERS in the Republic of Ireland hit by low pathogenic avian influenza earlier this year will receive government compensation, it has been confirmed.
Barry Cowen, minister for agriculture, food and the marine, said a one-off payment would offer “some assistance” towards the cost of culling and cleansing flocks.
Some 14 poultry flocks in the Monaghan region have been hit by an H6N1 low path variant of avian influenza this year.
Infected flocks saw lower productivity and higher mortality, and the affected farmers depopulated early to prevent further spread.
Under European State Aid rules, compensation for non-notifiable livestock diseases is not allowed.
However, limited contributions to the costs incurred may be made under special ‘De Minimis’ rules for agriculture, as long as they are small enough so as not to distort competition between member states.
Minister Cowen said; “I want to acknowledge that the flock owners in question have taken the correct action in depopulating their flocks for the greater good of the sector.
“In light of the significant economic impact this has had on their business, I am pleased to be able to provide some assistance towards the costs of depopulation which they have incurred.”
While the ministry said that further details would be published in the coming days, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) said it understood the payment would be €20,000 made to successful applicants to the scheme.
IFA poultry chairman Andy Boylan welcomed the announcement.
“While this will not cover the losses that any poultry farmer incurred due to LPAI infection on their farms, it will go some way towards the costs incurred during the cull and disinfection process.
“The supports are welcome, and all stakeholders must continue the ongoing dialogue in an effort to tackle such diseases in the sector,” he added.
The LPAI outbreak also affected more than a dozen farms in Northern Ireland, as well as others in Great Britain.
Poultry.Network has asked the UK government if similar payments might be made to those farm businesses.