How just one calf cost a farmer his entire Genomics payment
Every year the Ombudsman deals with thousands of complaints from members of the public about the public services in this country, including farmers complaining about the Department of Agriculture.
In a recent case, a farmer complained to the Ombudsman about the 100pc penalty imposed on his 2016 Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) application.
The penalty had been applied because, in error, one calf out of 150 calves born on the farm that year had not been tagged and tested within the required 20 days.
The farmer considered the penalty to be excessive.
However, the Department said that under the BDGP scheme, all participants were required to be fully compliant with Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) Regulations.
These require that animals be tagged and tested within 20 days of birth and have samples sent to designated laboratories as soon as possible thereafter.
Failure to do so would result in no payment being made under BDGP in the following year, it said.
In this case, the animal was not tagged and tested until 46 days after birth, so no payment issued to the man in 2017.