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 (average market price for same category cattle) for 51 different categories of cattle.
The categories are based on an animal’s:
- age and sex
- pedigree status
- type (eg beef or dairy)
Sales data for around 1.5 million cattle are collected each year to make sure the table values adequately 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 in order to capture as many sales as possible.
Sales volumes naturally fluctuate throughout the trading year. At the start of the year the minimum required number of sales is set by Defra for each compensation category. The entire previous year’s sales data for each category is used to determine the level of sales in each period to be 95% confident that the volume of sales received is within 20% of the true mean (all sales both recorded and unrecorded).
If Defra statisticians decide that there aren’t sufficient sales at the start of the year then the category value for compulsorily slaughtered animals will be assessed by a valuer appointed by the government - a practice known as independent valuation.
You can look at cattle compensation values for the current month and past months.
Almost all cases of TB compensation is determined using table valuations. If there isn’t enough sales data for a particular category of cattle in any month, compensation will be determined by using:
- the most recently available table value for that category, or
- 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.
All animals in an approved finishing unit (AFU), licensed finishing unit (LFU) or a (pre-movement testing) exempt finishing unit (EFU) are destined for slaughter only and have no breeding potential. Therefore, for the purposes of valuation, any cattle in an AFU, LFU or EFU are classed as commercial and compensation is paid according to the relevant valuation table for non-pedigree animals.
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 50 different types of birds are updated quarterly.
Download the current:
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.