Farm Ireland

Saturday 19 January 2019

Farmers warned about illegal burning - weeks after deadline passed

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has issued a strong warning to farmers and their advisors that it is illegal to burn land from March 1 to August 31.

He said that farmers who burn land after March 1 risk facing prosecution, while the land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes.

Farmers who burn land illegally, may face reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, e.g. Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and it can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment.

The Minister said that both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful  of the damage caused by burning and should take appropriate care.

The burning of vegetation is controlled by the Wildlife Acts and it is an offence under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Act, 2000) to burn, from  March 1 to August 31 in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.

Individuals who are found to burn vegetation within that prohibited period are liable to prosecution by An Garda Siochana or by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Land found to have been burned during the specified closed season for burning is considered automatically ineligible under the various support schemes.

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