UK fined for failure to meet EU bTB targets

UK fined for failure to meet EU bTB targets

The EU has levied fines totalling millions of pounds on the UK after it missed targets for the eradication of bovine TB (bTB) despite repeated warnings.

Between 2017 and last year, the European Commission (EC) warned the UK on many occasions that it risked financial penalties over its slow progress in tackling the disease.

Then, in 2017, the EC applied corrections amounting to 10 per cent (around €2.5m) to payments of almost €25m that it had already made towards disease eradication.

A 20 per cent penalty was incurred the following year for an alleged failure to make enough progress against bTB in Northern Ireland and Wales. Although €18.3m had been allocated to the UK as a whole for that year, it isn’t clear how much of that would have gone to Wales and NI specifically.

News of the penalties has emerged from figures obtained recently by the Northern Ireland Farmers for Action group.

Defra is understood to disagree with the EU’s reasoning in applying the penalties.