Keeping farmed animals – guidance

Compensation for animals culled to control animal diseases

Find out about compensation arrangements for animals culled by the government as part of certain disease control strategies.

The government has powers to cull (kill) animals to control the spread of some animal diseases.

You will generally receive compensation for any healthy animals culled, and you may also receive compensation for animals affected by the disease in question.

You generally won’t receive any compensation for animals that:

  • die before they are culled
  • you voluntarily kill independently of an official cull

You won’t be compensated for consequential losses (income that the animal would have generated in the future, for example through laying eggs or producing offspring).

How compensation is calculated for bovine TB and certain other cattle diseases

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) uses market prices to calculate compensation for cattle culled to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) and the following diseases:

Every month Defra publishes a table of compensation values for 51 different categories of cattle. Values depend on:

  • the age and sex of the cattle
  • whether the cattle are pedigree or non-pedigree animals
  • whether the cattle are from the beef or dairy sector

Defra collects the prices of around 1.5 million cattle sold each year to make sure the table values reflect market prices. For non-pedigree animals 1 month of price data is used to calculate compensation. For pedigree animals 6 months of price data is used.

You can look at cattle compensation values for the current month and past months.

If there isn’t enough sales data for a particular category of cattle in any month, compensation will be either:

  • the most recently available table value for that category
  • a valuation provided by a valuer appointed by the government

For BSE, brucellosis and enzootic bovine leukosis compensation is paid for any animals culled, including animals affected by the diseases.

For bovine TB compensation may be reduced for reactor cattle from herds with overdue TB tests.

How compensation is calculated for certain diseases of poultry (kept birds)

Defra uses poultry valuation tables to calculate compensation for poultry culled to control the spread of the following diseases:

For avian influenza and Newcastle disease you will only receive compensation for healthy birds that are culled. You won’t be compensated for birds affected by disease.

For Salmonella you will be compensated for all birds culled, except for those birds classed as rejects when the flock is killed at a slaughter house.

Any money you receive from the slaughter house, or from an insurance policy that covers loss as a result of disease, will be subtracted from your compensation.

The valuation tables take into account several factors including:

  • the species, age and sex of the bird
  • what it was farmed for (eg meat or eggs)
  • the cost of rearing the birds
  • any income derived from the birds (eg from production of hatching eggs)

Tables for 36 different types of birds are updated quarterly, along with a commentary on changes to poultry table values (PDF, 38.3KB, 1 page) .

The current tables are:

Some types of bird, such as pedigree birds and grandparent breeding flocks, aren’t included in the tables. In such cases the government will appoint a valuer to set compensation.

Compensation arrangements for other diseases

You may be entitled to compensation if your animals are culled as part of a strategy to control another notifiable disease. Compensation may be reduced, or not apply, to animals affected with the disease.

During an outbreak of an exotic notifiable disease (a notifiable disease that isn’t currently present in Great Britain) information on compensation arrangements would be published on this website.