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Number of livestock inspections to be reduced

by 5m Editor
27 July 2007, at 6:23am

UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew’s initiative to reduce the number of inspections to livestock farms in Northern Ireland.

During its anti-red tape Cut It Out campaign, UFU called for a more efficient farm inspection regime in Northern Ireland, which would reduce the burden of inspections on farmers.

A key issue highlighted by the Union was the excessive number of inspections which local farmers were facing.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said he welcomed the news that DARD are taking steps to reduce the number of inspections. "The previous system was intolerable and was a major burden on the farmers involved. I hope this new inspection programme will prove much more workable,” he said.

UFU said that while progress had been made on the number of inspections, other important issues surrounding inspections still needed to be resolved - a reduction in the number of inspections is only one aspect of this issue. Tolerance for minor un-intentional rule breaches would also be a very positive move for farmers, who currently farmers feel they are often financially penalised unfairly.

"We also believe farmers should be entitled to 14 days notice for inspection. Ultimately we believe a single inspectorate could be created to reduce still further the number of potential farm inspection visits which a farmer has to deal with. These are all issues that are being progressed in the CAP Health Check which is planned by the EU Commission next year," said Mr Sharkey.

5m Editor