An Armagh farmer has been convicted at Armagh Magistrates Court today (October 4) for two charges relating to livestock movements and identification.

In a sitting that took place in Newry Court, Sam Young (47) from Clare Road, Tandragee, Craigavon, was convicted at Armagh Magistrates Court of one charge of failure to notify the department of the movement of six cattle onto his holding, as well as one charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal which had been previously used to identify another animal.

Young pleaded guilty and was fined £2,000 plus £15 offender levy.

The case arose following a cattle identification inspection carried out by Officers from Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA’s) Welfare and Enforcement Branch.

‘Importance of traceability cannot be overstated’

Commenting after the case, a department spokesperson said the importance of traceability requirements “could not be overstated.

“Breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland, including the integrity of the Department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS),” the DAERA spokesperson said.

“Cattle movements, notified to the department, are recorded on to the APHIS database. The provision, within statutory limits or upon request, of complete and timely information concerning cattle in the herd, to the department, is fundamental to the credibility and integrity of the department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).

“The importance of correctly identifying a bovine animal cannot be overstated; an animal’s identification number accords it a description, sex, age, movement history, and disease status.

“The department regards the false identification of cattle as extremely serious because it corrupts animal traceability and undermines the credibility of Northern Ireland‘s computerised Animal Public Health Information System (APHIS).”