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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmer fined for utilising ear tag on animal previously used to identify another

A judge has ordered a 47-year-old farmer to pay £2,000 plus £15 offender levy following a court appearance.

Mr Sam Young with an address at Clare Road, Tandragee, Craigavon appeared before Newry Court on Monday, October 4th, 2021.

He pleaded guilty to the following offences:

  • One charge of failure to notify the movement of six cattle onto his holding;
  • One charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal that had been previously used to identify another animal.

Farmer court appearance

The case arose following a cattle identification inspection officers from DAERA’s welfare and enforcement branch carried out.

The department regards the false identification of cattle as “extremely serious”. It said this activity “corrupts” animal traceability and undermines the credibility of its Animal Public Health Information System (APHIS).

DAERA said breaches of the cattle identification regulations “weaken and undermine” the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland. It stated that includes the integrity of its APHIS.

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Cattle movements, farmers notify the department, are recorded on to the APHIS database.

“The current interest in food safety by both government and consumer groups means it is essential that the department is clearly seen to be implementing all legislation pertaining to the traceability of livestock.”

“The importance of correctly identifying a bovine animal cannot be overstated,” the department stated.

An animal’s identification number accords it a description, sex, age, movement history, and disease status.

Thus, falsely using another animal’s I.D, for example, means an animal with Tuberculosis, Brucellosis or B.S.E. could be accorded a disease-free status, allowing the spread of disease to humans and livestock, and ultimately could enter the human food chain.”

“Thus, falsely using another animal’s I.D. means an older animal could be presented as a younger animal, thus, permitting its entry into the human food chain, possibly increasing the risk to humans of infection with CJD.”

“An animal could also be fraudulently presented as a younger animal, such as an animal aged over 30 months presented as an animal aged under 30 months, to enable it to be slaughtered for a purpose for which it would not otherwise be eligible to achieve a higher price for the animal.”

Concluding, the spokesperson said such actions jeopardise the reputation of Northern Ireland’s entire agri-food industry.

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