It’s not all positive, says National President

Sligo News File Online

Patrick Kent, President, Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association.
Patrick Kent, President, Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association.

ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the conclusion of the Farmers’ Charter negotiations tonight, but has warned that not everything farmers wanted has been achieved.

“Obviously we welcome the fact that these very protracted negotiations have finally reached a conclusion, and there are a number of positives in the new Charter,” said Mr. Kent. “A key element is the copper-fastening of the principle of a ‘yellow card’ approach to tagging and other minor animal ID non-compliances, which will be a welcome relief to farmers.

“There is a recognition that tag loss is inevitable, and on inspection many farmers will be afforded the opportunity to rectify missing tags. However, farmers still need to be aware that this flexibility predominantly relates to animals missing just one tag.”

“Of course, it’s not all positive. As ever, the issue of notice for inspections has proved very difficult to resolve to farmers’ satisfaction,” continued Mr. Kent.

“The Farmers’ Charter Monitoring Committee remains an important forum for keeping pressure on the Department to ensure the greatest possible speed and efficiency in delivering payments to farmers in a timely fashion.”

“The reality of the situation is that the Farmers’ Charter is subject to the restraints of EU regulations, which limits the ability to deliver a Charter in which farmers can have full confidence,” he concluded.