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Minister announces new moves to simplify livestock cross-compliance inspection

27 July, 2007

Sinn Féin farm Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has announced further progress on reducing the burden of red tape facing the farming industry.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) have now assigned more staff to livestock cross-compliance inspection. This will now effectively mean one livestock inspection per farm as opposed to several under the previous system. The Department intends to begin this programme of inspections soon and it will continue into the winter period.

Praising the initiative, the Minister said:

"This latest move by my department to reduce the burden of bureaucracy placed upon local farmers is another key step in our ongoing commitment to make farmer's lives easier.

"Through this new initiative my officials have reassigned veterinary staff on the ground to reduce the number of livestock inspections that farmers may face to just one. This is a major step forward and is another stepping stone in the delivery of my promise to cut red tape for farmers across the local industry."

The DARD Veterinary Service has become a fourth Cross-Compliance Competent Control Authority with responsibility for the animal related Cross-Compliance Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs), the Department intends to combine up to 12 separate inspections of livestock units into a single inspection.

This additional step means that in respect of these SMRs, inspections can be restricted to approximately 400 farms (1% of all farm businesses). As these visits are intended to be spot checks to verify that the industry is complying with existing standards set out in Statutory Management Requirements, as in previous years, and in line with Commission regulations, individual farmers will get minimal notice that they have been selected for inspection.


  1. Single Farm Payment: Cross-Compliance (Livestock Unit) Inspections 2007.
    Applications for Single Farm Payment in 2007 are eligible for Cross-Compliance inspections to ensure that they meet the Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) in European environmental, public, animal and plant health and animal welfare legislation and that they meet the Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition requirements.
    The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Veterinary Service is one of four Cross-Compliance Competent Control Authorities that will carry out Cross-Compliance inspections in 2007. The other Competent Control Authorities are DARD Service Delivery Group, Environment and Heritage Service and the Health and Safety Executive.
  2. This year DARD Veterinary Service will inspect one percent of those applicants who keep livestock.
    These inspections will check compliance with Statutory Management Requirements concerning:
    • Identification and registration of livestock (SMR 6,7,8,9)
    • The welfare of all livestock and in particular calves and pigs (SMR 17,18,19).
    • The prohibition on the use of banned growth promoting drugs (SMR12).
    • The control and/or prevention and eradication of specified diseases (eg Foot and Mouth Disease, Bluetongue and BSE etc) SMR 13, 14, 15, 16.
  3. The Cross-Compliance verifiable standards are set out in the following booklets:
    • Cross-Compliance Verifiable Standards 2005 and 2006 (pdf)
    • Cross-Compliance Verifiable Standards 2005 and 2006 Supplement SMR 11 Food and Feed Law (pdf)
    • Cross-Compliance Verifiable Standards 2007 (pdf)

Failure to comply with the Cross-Compliance requirements, may result in a percentage reduction in the total Single Farm Payment payable to the farmer.

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