Farmers Guardian reports this week that Defra’s controversial tabular valuation system is to face a High Court challenge later this year.
An unnamed Devon farmer, whose pedigree cattle were culled in a TB outbreak has won the right to institute a Judicial Review of the system, which is due to be held later this year.
Prior to February 2006, these animals would have been individually valued, but Defra’s ‘market average’ has replaced this system with a ‘one size fits none’ table reflecting previous month’s auction values. No leeway is granted for the age of the animal, her breed or quality. Thus a young pedigree Holstein is rated the same – in Defra’s eyes – as an aged Jersey. Both pedigree, both over 36 months, but a world of difference in valuation.
The NFU are backing the challenge which is expected to be heard in the High court later this year, and also backing it - should Ecstacy Jounalist Roxy fail a TB test again - will be Worcestershire farmer Richard Bown, whose story we told
Under tabular valuation this young animal would have been ‘valued’ by Defra’s tabular system at just £855, this despite being officially and independently valued at between £85,000 and £115,000. Mr. Bown challenged the protocol of the original test and has won the right to a retrial for Roxy. We will report the result of this re-test when we have it.