Hope for culling compensation?

Some South African poultry farmers may (or may not) be getting compensation for more than 2 million healthy birds they have been ordered to cull to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

The government attitude is that it will only pay for sick birds culled, not healthy ones on the same or adjacent farms. In a statement, FairPlay called this “sort sighted” because compensation is recognised worldwide as an incentive to report outbreaks, while failure to pay can help spread the disease if farmers fear financial ruin and stay silent.

The response was encouraging. A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) noted that in terms of the Animal Health Act, farmers could claim for compensation and “the department will then consider such applications”.

That doesn’t mean they will be paid, but it could indicate a change in attitude.