Deal reached on fowl compensation

Farmers will receive half of the compensation due on birds destroyed.

Poultry farmers will receive half of the compensation due on birds destroyed to control the spread of the avian flu under a deal reached between the Agriculture Ministry and Poultry Farmers Association on Wednesday. The remaining 50% would be paid within 30 days, provided the farmers have presented the appropriate paperwork. The full amount to be paid would be determined according to the birds' size, age and other factors. The fast-track agreement also would apply to farmers whose poultry have yet to be culled. "The fast payment of advances will bring a bit of oxygen to the farmers whose world has been destroyed," said Yaakov Cohen, secretary of the Poultry Farmers. The Ministry, Association and Egg and Poultry Board have set up a committee to assess the damages caused to other farmers by the quarantine placed on farms at which birds were not actually destroyed. Compensation will be granted according to the committee's judgment. Owners of hatcheries and slaughterhouses who have suffered losses due to the epidemic may claim damages with the Ministry, which will bring the information to the special committee of government ministries discussing compensation.