BREACHES of cattle identification and registration continue to be one of the main cross compliance failures in Wales.

Time limits laid down for registering information have been criticised as ‘one-sided’ by farming leaders and they want the Welsh Government to rethink them.

Christine Jones, NFU Cymru’s county chairman in Anglesey, said the ability to inform the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) of changes and movements within the set time period is often the cause of a breach.

“The advice that has been given to farmers is that all movements notified to the BCMS must be within the required time scales to prevent a breach,” she said.

The BCMS must be notified of movements on or off a holding within three days.

Cattle death notifications must be made within seven days of the date of death and the herd register completed within 36 hours of a movement, within seven days of a death, and within 30 days of the birth of a calf.

Mrs Jones said these deadlines relate to calendar days, not working days.

“We have repeatedly raised the fact that farmers in Wales face stiff penalties for failing to report a movement within three working days when EU legislation allows up to seven days to notify movements.

“We feel this is clearly a case of Welsh farmers being unfairly treated compared to the rest of Europe,” she said.

The current three calendar days allowed for reporting a movement fails to take into account weekends and Bank Holidays.

“It seems that BCMS can close on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, but farmers are still required to report movements on a Friday by the following Monday or face Single Farm Payment penalties,” added Mrs Jones.

“As an industry we support the need for cattle movement recording, but we feel there are common sense ways that the administrative burden on farmers can be reduced.

“The amount of red tape and bureaucracy within the agricultural industry has increased significantly in recent times, but we hope that implementation of the recommendations within the Welsh Government’s Working Smarter report will bring a simplification of current livestock movements and ID without compromising disease control measures.”