Ulster farmers demand policy change for bereaved families

Ulster Farmers’ Union, deputy president, Victor Chestnutt, says a solution must be found for bereaved families facing difficulties with DAERA’s policy on the inheritance of herd and flock numbers.  He describes the current approach as ‘extremely inflexible’ and says it is causing unnecessary complications for farm families.

“A number of years ago DAERA adopted a policy that has prevented the family of a deceased sole trader from inheriting the herd and flock numbers on the farm. Instead DAERA forces bereaved families to go through the process of setting up new business IDs, herd and flock numbers,” said Chestnutt.

The UFU says this has created many problems for families already going through difficult times while trying to keep businesses going after a bereavement.  It says DAERA needs to accept this, and review its approach.

“Many of these herd and flock numbers have been in existence for a long time.  They are linked with industry programmes such as Farm Quality Assurance and the BVD eradication scheme.  These rely on accurate and reliable data being transferred from APHIS so that the value and the health status of the livestock on these farms can be maintained,” said Chestnutt.

“I would challenge DAERA to see some sense on this matter and bring forward a solution to help families at their most difficult time, when the last thing they need is more red tape,” said Chestnutt. 

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