‘Unfair’ farm movement regulation changes slammed

Changes to existing farm-to-farm movement requirements are both unnecessary and unfair, and will simply multiply paperwork, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Deputy president of the ICMSA Lorcan McCabe made the comments following a meeting with senior officials of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.

At this meeting, the ICMSA was informed that the department intends to change the procedure for issuing cattle movement certs whereby the destination herd number must be provided prior to a certificate of compliance being issued.

This change will predominantly affect paper-based applications; in 2017 over 25% of farmers used the paper-based applications where the destination herd number could be written in at time of sale.

According to McCabe, the proposed new system has the potential to slow down the sale of calves by several days – especially if the destination herd number has to be changed.

McCabe said this change puts more pressure on farmers at the busiest time of the year and runs absolutely contrary to the department’s simplification agenda for farmers.

The ICMSA deputy president described the department proposal as completely over the top and both unnecessary and unfair on the vast majority of compliant farmers using this system.

He said that if the department is serious and sincere about simplifying regulations for farmers, then it needs to reverse its decision on this matter.

This proposal is yet another example of needlessly making all farmers’ lives more complicated for the sake of a relatively minor problem involving a small number of farmers, McCabe contended.