The DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) has notified all herd owners of scheduled tagging and registration inspections, which are due to commence shortly.
The body issued SMS messages on Monday, March 20th, 2023, to all herd owners registered on its systems with active bovine, ovine, caprine and/or porcine herds, a DAFM spokesperson confirmed to That’s Farming’s editor, Catherina Cunnane.
The spokesperson explained, in a statement to this publication, in response to a request for information:
“The message issued in a format used by DAFM on an ongoing basis to alert farmers to important information.”
“The link provided in the SMS message complies with formats and standards required by SMS providers.”
“However, following the concerns raised, the Department has put processes in place to include a DAFM reference at the end of any link that may be included in future official DAFM SMS messages.”
A number of readers contacted That’s Farming following the circulation of the messages, as some questioned, upon receipt, the SMS’ legitimacy.
The link provided in the message routed owners to a booklet published on the DAFM website.
The booklet details animal identification and registration requirements that will be the subject of inspection by DAFM-authorised officers in “the coming weeks and months” ahead.
“It is considered important that herd owners are aware of, and comply with these requirements, which are essential for traceability.“
The DAFM has published a copy of the booklet containing information on what to expect from an inspection.
The inspections in question, generally referred to as IDR inspections, are carried out on an annual basis to ensure compliance with relevant EU legislation.
Inspections will commence “at the beginning of April 2023”, the DAFM confirmed to That’s Farming.
Herd owners will be provided with 48 hours’ notice of a planned inspection date, the spokesperson outlined in the statement.
Breaches in IDR rules will be managed in “a new way” from 2023 onwards.
Where justified, a fixed penalty notice (FPN) will issue to an owner where serious IDR non-compliances are found.
The spokesperson concluded: “The FPN will be applied at a flat rate of €250.”
“Failure to pay within 28 days may result in a court appearance and an increased risk of further inspection.”