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Judgement Reserved on Defra TB Table Value Case

18 March 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - The hearing of Defra's appeal against the judgment of Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, handed down in July 2008 in the TB table values test case, ended today with judgment being reserved.

The NFU and its Legal Assistance Scheme had backed Devon dairy farmer David Partridge, the claimant in the case, who took Defra to judicial review over the level of compensation he received for a number of high value and high quality pedigree animals identified as reactors and taken away for slaughter in March 2006.

The sums paid by Defra were based on the 'average value' tables the Government introduced in February 2006, but fell far short of the real value of the animals. In his judgment last July, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton found that Defra's approach to the valuation of high value animals was discriminatory and unlawful.

Defra appealed against the judgment last August. The hearing of this appeal started yesterday on Monday March 16 and was heard by Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Keene and Lord Justice Lawrence Collins in the Court of Appeal.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond, who attended the hearing on Monday afternoon, said: "The NFU has always argued that the way Defra implemented table values was grossly unfair to producers of high value, high quality animals which are slaughtered for TB control purposes.

"We hope that, having heard the arguments of both parties over the last two days, the Lord Justices will uphold the original High Court decision which agreed that Defra's average table values fell far short of the actual value of the animals in this case.

"Judgment has been reserved. That means we now have to wait for the Court's decision, and we will consider the judgment carefully when it is handed down."

The Solicitors instructed by the claimant are Clarke Wilmott, one of the NFU's panel firms. Hugh Mercer QC, along with Jeremy Brier, have advised on the case, represented the claimant in the High Court, and represented the claimant at the appeal hearing.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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