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IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy told a Charter of Farmers’ Rights meeting in Portlaoise today that the Department of Agriculture must introduce proper and effective procedures to deal with farmers’ complaints in relation to problem inspections.

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At a meeting of the Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee this week, the Department of Agriculture inspection team confirmed to IFA that the Department of Agriculture inspectors will take a flexible and practical approach in regard to any weather related inspection issues and particularly take into account the unique circumstances and any hardship issues on a case-by-case basis.

For 2018 inspections, the Department confirmed to the Charter review group that they are in the process of reviewing 2017 inspections with a view to making the necessary changes for 2018 to avoid the difficulties and delays that occurred with satellite inspections in 2017.

Sheep farmers who have not already done so are reminded to submit their Sheep Census return without delay as they cannot be paid under any scheme without a completed census form. On the Sheep Welfare Scheme, 20,684 farmers have been paid €16m in advance payments. Inspections are currently taking place and expect to be completed by the end of March, which will release the final payment in early Quarter 2, worth €3m.

IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy demanded an urgent review of the inspection and appeals procedures within the Department of Agriculture at the meeting of the Farmer’s Charter review Group held in Portlaoise today.

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Speaking in advance of today’s Charter of Rights meeting, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said that the commitment given by the Department of Agriculture to a review of the inspection and appeals system will be a key issue at the meeting.

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The IFA has negotiated a Charter of Farmers Rights to set down important deadlines  and protocols 

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