Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 8 December 2016

High levels of inspection penalties spurs Teagasc to launch education drive

Published 14/12/2010 | 05:00

One-in-five farmers inspected last year were penalised for not complying with nitrates rules last year.

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This was just one of the figures revealed to more than 350 farmers at a recent cross-compliance open day in Kildalton College.

With nearly 7,000 farm inspections being carried out by Department and local authority staff this year, Teagasc has kicked off a big drive to try to help farmers understand exactly what is expected of them during an inspection.

Sheep farmers were the second most likely to be penalised.

Almost one in six were punished for not fully complying with the cross-compliance rules that govern EU farm payments.

Penalty

The average penalty imposed on farmers last year was €660, according to Teagasc's environmental specialist, Tim Hyde.

Advisors at the open day highlighted the areas where farmers were most likely to face problems. Cattle identification and registration are the most common reasons for penalties or queries following an inspection.

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These mostly centred on CMMS and tagging irregularities.

Another 26pc of the total issues and penalties arising from inspections were related to the Nitrate Directive. These included the collection, storage and management of farm organic manures and soiled water.

The remaining 24pc related to sheep registers, food hygiene, pesticide use and storage, groundwater protection and animal welfare.

Irish Independent