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Stackyard News Jun 08

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SFP Deductions Saved if Cross Compliance Breaches Avoided

Too many farms are losing too much money after failing cross-compliance inspections, the National Beef Association has warned.


galloway cattle

It has been told by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) that cattle farmers have the greatest number of cross compliance inspection failures recorded against them – and suffer the biggest deductions from their SFP cheques.

“This has to be a worry to the industry, as well as the individual farmers involved, because some of the take-offs were substantial and further drops in income could result in less beef cattle being produced in future years,” said NBA director Kim Haywood.

“The RPA inspects 10 per cent of beef farms each year and there are lessons to be learned from the information it has provided. The Association would like to see farmers reacting to the failures the Agency have identified so fewer businesses face avoidable deductions from their SFP cheques in future.”

According to the NBA the RPA has listed the most common failures found during inspections conducted in 2007 as follows:

  • Medicine records not being complete.
  • Mortality records not being complete.
  • Some animals being kept in accommodation where sharp edges, or protrusions, could cause injury.
  • Some sick animals not receiving the necessary care or attention.

“Other regular failures involved missing tags as well as incomplete movement records. It is alarming that that RPA has said there were more breaches in 2007 than there were in 2006 and that further increases can be anticipated,” said Ms Haywood.

The most likely breaches to be identified in 2008 include:

  • Failure to report a cattle movement within the required time period.
  • Failure to inform BCMS of a cattle death.
  • Gaps in movement records – or movement being recorded against wrong animal.
  • Animals not being on record – this means they either had no passport or had been given the wrong passport.
  • Lost ear tags not being replaced within 28 days or lost tags replaced with the wrong tag.

“The NBA knows that tags which fall out are a never ending nuisance to everyone in the industry but it is nevertheless clear that with a little more effort many of inspection breaches can be avoided and deductions from SFP cheques saved,” Ms Haywood added.

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