Changes to existing farm-to-farm movement requirements are unfair and involve unnecessary paperwork, according to the deputy president of ICMSA Lorcan McCabe.
Following a meeting with Department of Agriculture officials, ICMSA has been told that the Department intends to change the procedure for issuing cattle movement certs whereby the destination herd number must be provided before a certificate of compliance is issued.
The change will predominantly effect paper-based applications. In 2017, over 25 per cent of farmers used paper-based applications where the destination herd number could be written at time of sale.
According to Mr McCabe, the proposed system has the potential to slow the sale of calves by several days, especially if the destination herd number has to be changed.
He said this change put more pressure on farmers at the busiest time of the year and ran contrary to the Department’s simplification agenda.
“Farmers dependent on paper applications will find this extremely frustrating and tedious. The Department has stated that this change is necessary to ensure full compliance by a small number of calf purchasers,” he said.
However, Mr McCabe pointed out that ICMSA suggested that rather than put additional paperwork on all the farmers involved, the Department should address these compliance issues through an awareness campaign, but the Department rejected the proposal.
He described the Department proposal as “completely over the top and very unfair” on the vast majority of compliant farmers using this system.
“We believe that the Minister should instruct the Department to review its position and allow compliant farmers to continue with the current regime. If the Department is serious and sincere about simplification, then they need to reverse their decision on this matter, he said.