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Farm Inspections

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (383)

Carol Nolan


383. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider revising the inspection regime operated by his Department to ensure that a cap will be put in place with respect to the number of times that a farmer can be randomly inspected over a certain period of time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53755/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The EU Regulations governing the Direct Payment and Rural Development Schemes require my Department to carry out inspections annually to ensure compliance with Cross Compliance requirements as laid down in EU legislation and the standards for Good Agricultural and Environment Condition (GAEC).

The EU regulations prescribe that the selection of cases for inspection is undertaken by means of a risk analysis process, with cases being selected on a risk and random basis. In addition, the Department is required to review the results of previous year’s inspection to determine appropriate risks, which must include the criteria of previous penalties and non-compliances.

The process for selecting cases for inspection has been subject to EU audit on numerous occasions over many years to confirm compliance with the requirements of the EU regulations. Any amendments to the selection process would require a change in the EU regulations.