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Defra interpretation of farm payment penalties damaging to British farmers-Farron

December 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Defra's interpretation of penalties imposed for single farm payments are "damaging" British farmers according to Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson

Under current EU regulations, farmers must notify any cattle movements within three to seven days, but within the UK this is interpreted as three days. Mr Farron is therefore calling on Defra to adopt the seven day target to relieve some of the pressure on British farmers and allow them to compete with their European neighbours on an equal footing.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Minimum penalties are now amounting to 3% of the payment, which in many cases can be over £1000.

"One of the main causes for penalties is delay in notifying the British Cattle Movement Service about movements of cattle on and off farms.

"The EU regulation says that movements must be notified within three to seven days but within the UK this is interpreted as three days.

"Farmers selling cattle on a Friday will need to have the notification to BCMS office in Workington by Sunday. For those using the postal system, this is impossible.

"I will be calling on both DEFRA to adopt the seven day target rather than the three day target in order fall in line with most other European countries"