Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
349. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department provides for compensation to poultry farmers and broilers for the loss of flocks due to salmonella tyhimurium and salmonella enteritidis outbreaks considering these flocks must be culled under the regulations of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30313/21]
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine allocates funding annually for the compensation of Zoonotic Salmonella in poultry via a Scheme of financial assistance in cases of Salmonella outbreaks in poultry flocks, on an ex gratia basis. The Scheme applies only to suspected or confirmed outbreaks of Salmonella Enteriditisand Salmonella Typhimuriumand covers the following:
1. Egg supply farms approved by the Department.
2. Poultry hatcheries approved by the Department.
3. Establishments rearing poultry intended for table egg production approved by the Department.
4. Table egg producers.
5. Table egg packing centres.
Only the following costs may be considered for financial assistance:
1. The market value of the flock on the date of slaughter less any salvage value obtained.
2. The value of eggs destroyed, or losses incurred on pasteurisation of table eggs.
3. Transport costs incurred in bringing birds to the place of slaughter and eggs to the place of destruction or pasteurisation.
The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, section 31 (1) outlines that I, as Minister, may pay compensation, the amount of which to be determined by way of an assessment carried out by a valuer or an arbitrator to the owner of—(a) a farm animal or (b) an animal product, if the farm animal, animal product, animal feed or other thing is affected with a disease or a disease agent and is killed or destroyed under section 30 (1) to alleviate the risk of disease, to prevent the spread of disease or to diagnose, control or eradicate disease.
This scheme is currently under review in the Department.
The importance of improving biosecurity at farm level to prevent disease outbreaks in the first place cannot be overlooked. The Department has made available, at no cost to the poultry producer, biosecurity risk assessments, which are delivered by Animal Health Ireland trained veterinary practitioners, for commercial broiler and layer units. The set of recommendations provided guides the producer on how to improve the standard of biosecurity on the farm and reduce the likelihood of disease incursion. “Prevention is better than cure” is a cornerstone of Animal Health Policy.