(2) what estimate his Department has made of the added cost to the farmer of reducing the age of cattle for pre-movement tuberculosis testing to 16 weeks.
A cost benefit assessment of extending pre-movement testing for bovine TB to cattle over six weeks old moving out of one or two year tested herds has been carried out. The additional cost to farmers in England is estimated to be £2.3 million.
The Department estimates that, once fully implemented, the policy will save about 610 new incidents a year. Total costs of the policy per year are estimated as £5.9 million, total benefits £10.5 million, giving net benefits of £4.6 million.
We do not intend to revert from a table-based compensation system to one based exclusively on individual valuations.
While DEFRA has not ruled out the possibility of changes to the current compensation system, any changes would need to be justified and fair to farmers and the taxpayer. They would also need to take account of the extensive evidence on the level of over valuation experienced under the previous system based on individual valuations.