Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Safety: Discussion

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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The Minister of State alluded to a point I was going to make, which is that farm inspections can be a stressful experience in their own right. I note there has been movement in that regard in recent years with the development of a farmers' charter. Is the Minister of State satisfied in the first instance that the charter is being upheld by inspectors within his Department? Are there areas in which that can be strengthened to ensure the experience of farmers who are engaging with the Department is positive? Obviously, inspections take place for a reason, that is, to ensure that rules are being adhered to and best practices are in place, but all members have had experiences relayed to us of farmers who had what can only be described as negative experiences and interactions. They felt the purpose of the inspection was to catch them out rather than to ensure they were implementing best practice. Does the Minister of State see scope for improvement in that regard?