Minister announces changes to the Cross-Compliance penalty regime
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Minister Poots commented: “Significant changes are being planned to move from a punitive Cross-Compliance model to a simplified set of Farm Sustainability Standards tailored to suit the requirements of the industry in Northern Ireland, while still ensuring an appropriate level of protection for animal and human health and the environment.
"In the meantime, this new legislation, which I instructed my officials to make, will affect domestically funded schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme."
The Minister continued: “Under the existing arrangements, certain repeated negligent breaches can be considered intentional, attracting very high financial penalties.
"The new regime means that these repeated negligent penalties will be capped at 15 per cent.
"This is a much fairer approach to our hard-working farmers.
"This is only possible because we have left the European Union and can now make decisions to suit local needs," he concluded.
The Cross-Compliance conditions are designed to promote sustainable agricultural
practices in Northern Ireland and reflect a number of environmental and other objectives.
They are good farm management practices, and encourage responsible stewardship of the land.