Inspection ‘blitzes’ need to be paused

THE Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have been asked to call off a threatened ‘blitz’ of farm inspections over the coming weeks as farmers struggle to overcome the ongoing weather crisis.

IFA representatives, who welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture last week of a suspension of non-essential farm inspections, have now called on the HSA to follow suit.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that while there was a time and place for everything, given the current weather pressures farmers were under, the last thing they needed to hear was talk of a blitz of inspections.

“This is an unprecedented period of bad weather that farmers are going through at present and we really are concerned when we hear that HSA warning of an inspections’ blitz.

“We are drawing the line on these inspections at this time as part of our ongoing ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign,” said Stephen Canavan.

IFA President, Francie Gorman, accused the Health and Safe Authority of being ‘tone deaf’ in their threat of a blitz of farm safety inspections at a time when farmers were facing enormous weather challenges.

He said that all planned farm inspections should be suspended in the context of ‘the deplorable weather’ adding that in terms of farmer welfare, such a blitz would be counter-productive.

“The pressure on farmers is unprecedented, with terrible weather forecast for the next week. The Minister also needs to convene another meeting of the fodder group this week and given how serious the situation is now he must attend this himself,”  said Francie Gorman.

Last week, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, announced that as ‘an immediate step’ to ease pressure on farmers during the current weather crisis, he had asked the Department to pause farm inspections until April 22.

Pictured: Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan

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