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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 has welcomed the publication by the Department of Agriculture of the Report of the Agriculture Appeals Act Review Committee.

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The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is running a month-long intensive farm inspection campaign during March.

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Be prepared when a Department of Agriculture inspector arrives on your farm, know your rights and have the correct information at hand.
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IFA Farm Forestry Chairman, Michael Fleming has welcomed the changes in the Farmers Charter and believes they will positively benefit the development of the private forest sector and farmers’ relationship with the Forest Service.

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