New tagging tolerances allowed under Farmers Charter

The Department of Agriculture recently published an updated Farmers Charter which outlines the rights of farmers.

The Farmers Charter is effectively an agreement between both parties on improving the standards and delivery targets for the Department’s schemes and services, including on-farm inspections, and brings clarity to the arrangements around inspections.

One of the key elements of the Farmers Charter is a certain relaxation of some of the rules surrounding animal identification and registration.

Last year, almost 3,000 farmers were found to have non-compliances relating to Animal identification and Registration following inspections, according to from the Department of Agriculture.

Figures released by the Department showed that some 1,186 farmers incurred penalty/sanction following the inspection while some 1,752 had only minor breaches with no monetary penalty.

Some 4,743 farmers were inspected on Animal Identification and Registration last year.

See also: Almost 1,200 fined after animal ID inspections (Here’s what the Dept looks for)

Under the new Farmers Charter the following tolerances will be allowable during an inspection:

Cattle

The following scenarios, on their own, under Bovine Identification and Registration will not generally give rise to an immediate sanction according to the Farmers Charter 

  1. Up to 30% of the animals in a herd with one tag where the 2nd tag has fallen out and the farmer has a history of ordering replacement eartags
  2. Herd Register discrepancies (as distinct from failure to maintain a register)
  3. Herd register incomplete for up to 6 months but relevant dockets available with the register
  4. Missing entries in the herd register for up to 2 months where the relevant supporting documentation are available or 1 month where no document is available (as distinct from failure to maintain a register)
  5. Passport discrepancies and/or surplus passports for animals not on the AIM database at time of the inspection
  6. Mislaid passports
  7. Up to 2 animals missing both tags in herds up to 150 animals where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to the inspection
  8. Up to 3 animals missing both tags in herds from 151 to 300 animals where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to the inspection
  9. Up to 4 animals missing both tags in herds over 300 animals where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to the inspection
  10. Clerical error or discrepancy in AIM notification process provided the farmer responds in a timely fashion to any query letter.

The following combinations of the above will also not give rise to sanction the Farmers Charter says:

  1. Discrepancies in the register and depending on herd size animals missing both tags where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to receiving notice of the inspection
  2. Discrepancies in the register and clerical error in notification
  3. Passport discrepancies and depending on herd size animals missing both tags where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to receiving notice of the inspection
  4. Passport discrepancies and clerical errors in the notification
  5. Passport mislaid and register discrepancies
  6. Animals missing both tags (depending on herd size) and clerical errors in notification
  7. Animals missing both tags (depending on herd size) and where the animals are identifiable and the farmer has ordered replacement eartags prior to the inspection and surplus passports for animals not on the AIM database at time of inspection.

Sheep

The following scenarios, on their own, under Ovine Identification and Registration will not give rise to a sanction the Farmers Charter states

  1. Flock Register discrepancies (as distinct from failure to maintain a register)
  2. Flock register incomplete for up to 6 months but relevant supporting documentation available with the register
  3. Missing entries in the flock register for up to 2 months where the relevant supporting documentation are available or 1 month where no documentation is available (as distinct from failure to maintain a register)
  4. Census discrepancies where the discrepancies are less than 3% (5% in hill flocks)
  5. Census not recorded in flock register for the previous three years
  6. Sheep incorrectly tagged.

The following tolerances apply for missing tags where the sheep has been tagged but lost eartags:

  1. Up to 4 animals missing tags in flocks up to 50 animals
  2. Up to 5 animals missing tags in flocks from 51 to 100 animals
  3. Up to 8 animals missing tags in flocks from 101 to 150 animals10 animals missing tags in flocks from 151 to 200 animals
  4. Up to 13 animals missing tags in flocks 201 to 250 animals
  5. Up to 16 animals missing tags in flocks from 251 to 300 animals
  6. Up to 19 animals missing tags in flocks over 301 to 400 animals
  7. Up to 24 animals missing tags in flocks over 401 to 600 animals
  8. Up to 30 animals missing tags in flocks over 601 to 1,000 animals
  9. Up to 36 animals missing tags in flocks over 1,000 animals
  10. Clerical error/discrepancy in a dispatch docket
  11. 1 Dispatch docket missing

The following combinations of the above will also not give rise to sanction as outlined in the Farmers Charter

  1. Discrepancies in the register and depending on flock size animals missing tags
  2. Census discrepancies and depending on flock size animals missing tags
  3. Animals missing tags (depending on flock size) and clerical errors in a dispatch docket

To see the full Farmers Charter click here

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