A GROUP of NFU farmer members have been given permission to bring a legal challenge against the APHA over compensation for farmers hit by avian influenza.

The legal challenge was filed in December 2022. A group of members will argue that the APHA has misinterpreted the legislation which underpins its compensation scheme by failing to properly compensate affected farmers for healthy birds at the point at which it decides they should be culled due to an AI outbreak.

See also: Gulls present avian influenza threat after 300 found dead in Teeside

The High Court granting permission means that the Court will now set a hearing date for the members’ case to be heard.

NFU poultry board chair, James Mottershead, said: “It is very welcome news to hear that the Court has granted permission for the group of affected members to bring their legal challenge against APHA on avian influenza compensation.

“This decision allows the members’ claim to proceed to a hearing and is a huge milestone in this case.”

The NFU has joined this case as an ‘Interested Party’, and has put forward evidence in support of the members bringing the claim and the wider poultry sector.

‘Hugely important case’

Mr Mottershead added: “The financial and emotional strain on farmers, their families and members of staff affected by AI can be devastating.

“This is a hugely important case which could have far-reaching implications for the British poultry sector.

“That is why the NFU has joined the case as an Interested Party and is providing funding to support the members bringing the claim.”