The NFU and its Legal Assistance Scheme continue to support a group of members who, after a long-awaited decision, have now been granted permission by the High Court to bring their legal challenge against the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) in an important case about compensation for poultry producers affected by Avian Influenza (AI).
The legal challenge was filed in December 2022, with a group of members arguing that the APHA has misinterpreted the legislation which underpins its compensation scheme by failing to properly compensate affected farmers for birds which are healthy at the point at which it decides they should be culled due to an AI outbreak.
Coupled with delays to culling, which have worsened the position for the affected members by pushing back the point at which the APHA has calculated compensation even further, these issues can result in substantial shortfalls in the compensation payments made to farmers.
The High Court’s recent decision on permission means that the Court will now set a hearing date for the members’ case to be heard.
“This decision allows the members’ claim to proceed to a hearing and is a huge milestone in this case.”
NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead
NFU poultry board chair James Mottershead said: “It is very welcome news to hear that the Court has granted permission for the group of affected members to bring their legal challenge against APHA on avian influenza compensation. This decision allows the members’ claim to proceed to a hearing and is a huge milestone in this case.”
The NFU has joined this case as an interested party, and we have put forward our own evidence in support of the members bringing the claim and the wider poultry sector. An enormous amount of work and effort has gone into this case on behalf of our members to reach this stage in proceedings. The NFU and its Legal Assistance Scheme have also committed to providing significant funding to support the members bringing the claim.
James Mottershead explained: “The financial and emotional strain on farmers, their families and members of staff affected by AI can be devastating. This is a hugely important case which could have far-reaching implications for the British poultry sector. That is why the NFU has joined the case as an Interested Party and is providing funding to support the members bringing the claim.”
The members are represented by NFU legal panel firm, Jacksons Law Firm, with Counsel Malcolm Birdling and Jagoda Klimowicz of Brick Court Chambers.
Do you have compensation concerns?
Any member with concerns relating to the value of compensation in cases involving the avian influenza outbreak from autumn 2022 can contact our qualified team of specialist advisers at NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458 for free initial advice and guidance.