Farmers are to get 48 hours’ notice of inspections and will also get a preliminary result before the inspector leaves the yard in future, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has confirmed.

Speaking at a Clare IFA meeting, rural development chair John Curran confirmed these measures have been agreed “in principle” under a review of the Farmers’ Charter of Rights that is currently at an advanced stage.

“The wording is that they will ‘generally’ get 48 hours’ notice of inspections.

“There will also be a commitment given that before the inspector leaves the yard, a brief outline will be given of how the inspection went, if there are penalties or issues to be dealt with.

"So the farmer is not worrying or stressed out over are they going to be penalised,” Curran said.

A final draft of the updated charter of rights is ready and is due to be published in July, Curran said.

The charter is an agreement between the Department of Agriculture and the main farming organisations, primarily on the standards and delivery targets for the Department's schemes and services.


Curran said he feels these measures will make a “big difference” in taking the worry out of inspections for farmers.

“Farmers generally dread inspections. Really all they want is not have a fear of inspections. The 99% of inspections are fine. It’s just the fear and the dread beforehand, the mental anguish.

“There are a lot of inspections now and no one can afford to take a 2% or 5% penalty on the schemes, because basically that’s money straight out of their pocket,” he added.

Curran, alongside Munster chair Conor O’Leary and livestock chair Declan Hanrahan, spoke at a Clare IFA meeting on Wednesday evening 29 May.

The meeting was held on the farm of Rosaleen O’Reilly in Quin, who has 50 cows and is in derogation.

Retaining the nitrates derogation was one of a number of issues discussed on the night.