Leeway will be given to farmers who are suffering the effects of storm damage over the festive period and are unable to comply with farm regulations, it has been confirmed.

Many farmers, especially along the Ireland’s coast, have had their land damaged by the recent storms or in some cases, swept away by the sea.

Inland many farmers have seen their land flooded, fences destroyed or had boulders thrown on their land. As a result such holdings may not now be in compliance with the conditions of either the disadvantaged areas scheme, single farm payment, REPS or AEOS.

According to the department, each case will be examined on its individual merits and in instances of non-compliance departmental officials do have leeway to apply ‘force majeure’ or exceptional circumstances where events have occurred that are beyond the farmer’s control.

The department also stressed that in the context of delivering payments, it will continue to carry out annual inspections covering both the eligibility of the land declared to draw down payments and also cross-compliance aspects, to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the areas of public, animal and plant health, environment and animal welfare.

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