Welcome reduction in red tape for farmers

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News that the level of on-farm inspections is to be reduced was welcomed today by Galway East TD Paul Connaughton.

Deputy Connaughton welcomed the signing of a new agreement in Brussels today by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and agriculture ministers from across the EU which will result in a reduced level of farm inspections and increased flexibility in inspection procedures.

‘The new agreement will result in a reduction in the minimum rate of on-the-spot inspections from 5% to 1% as well as increased flexibility in how inspections are conducted. Another important measure is that national administrations can identify problems with farmers’ area aid applications so that even up to 35 days after the date of submission, farmers can make corrections to the application without incurring any penalties. This is a sensible move and will make many farmers’ lives easier.

‘In recent years farmers have been swamped with red tape relating to their farming enterprises, much of this is duplicated and unnecessary and this government has striven at every opportunity to steadily reduce the level of red tape that farmers have to encounter.

‘The recent removal of the need for pre-movement brucellosis testing was one welcome step forward and today’s announcement of a reduction in the inspection regime is another move in the right direction.

‘Farmers need to be allowed do what they do best, produce high-quality food and today’s announcement is another measure which will help ensure that farmers can spend their time on farm, rather than administrative matters.