A court has ruled in favour of an agricultural contractor and farmer client in a case taken against them by the NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service).
According to the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland, the NPWS “were attempting to prosecute them [farmer client and agricultural contractor – an FCI member] for removing a hedge to allow for farm fencing in the out-of-season period”.
“The judge ruled that the work was considered to be ‘in the ordinary course of agriculture’ as in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act & they won their case.”
“A good result for all hedge-cutting contractors but NOT to be considered as ‘open season’ to cut hedges. FCI was happy to have provided support & advice,” the spokesperson concluded.
Contractors urged to sack tractor drivers creating videos
“Preventing the use of smartphones to create videos will be a significant management issue for many contractors during the 2021 silage season,” said FCI chief executive Michael Moroney.
“At FCI, we are aware of videos being posted to various social media outlets which seem to portray contractor operations during silage harvesting as some form of entertainment,” he added.
“This behaviour undermines the seriousness and operational risks associated with the skill of using high output modern machinery in farm contracting operations.”
“There are a number of aspects to the problem. Some videos are merely portraying good operations, while others are showing a lack of driving skills and safety awareness. Others are clearly highly dangerous and tempting fate in an absurd way. All are dangerous,” he added.
“FCI recommends a zero-tolerance approach where drivers, who behave in this way. should be sacked from the contractor’s team with immediate effect,” he added.