A group of poultry producers have been granted permission by the High Court to bring a legal challenge against the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in a case about avian influenza compensation.
The NFU has reported it and its Legal Assistance Scheme are supporting a group of members in their legal challenge, which was filed in December 2022.
The producers case centres on whether 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.
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 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.