EU docks one-in-five farmers
ALMOST one-in-five Irish farmers whose farms were inspected last year had their EU payments docked because they failed to meet statutory requirements on environmental and agricultural standards, writes Aideen Sheehan.
The European Union (EU) also docked Ireland €700,000 because of failure by the Department of Agriculture to meet EU control standards.
The Comptroller and Auditor General found 18pc of inspected farms breached EU standards, and the failure rate for farms randomly chosen for inspection reached 23pc.
In total, 1,361 farms out of 7,455 farms were in breach of EU standards in 2009. The farmers received an average penalty of €663, adding up to over €900,000 being docked from €1.8bn in EU payments.