North-west farmer fined for failing to register calves

A north-west farmer has been handed a fine in court after he failed to register three calves and failed to notify the department of six cattle movements.

Martin Joseph Doherty (52), of 350 Seacoast Road, Limavady pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined £450 plus £15 offender levy today at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court.

The case arose from a cattle identification inspection of Doherty’s herd by officers from DAERA’s Welfare and Enforcement Branch.

Registering livestock births

Livestock births must be notified to DAERA within seven days of identification or before movement off the holding, whichever is the earlier.

Calves must be identified within 36 hours of birth in the case of a dairy herd or within 20 days of birth in herds other than dairy herds.

A spokesperson for the department said: “Breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland, including the integrity of the Department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).

“The current interest in food safety by both Government and consumer groups means it is essential that the department is clearly seen to be implementing all legislation pertaining to the traceability of livestock.

“Cattle movements, notified to the Department, are recorded on to the APHIS database. The provision, within statutory limits or upon request, of complete and timely information concerning cattle in the herd, to the Department, is fundamental to the credibility and integrity of the Department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).

“It is important that births are reported correctly and promptly as it enables DAERA to keep an accurate and up to date record of the animals in the herd and it is also a means to detect potential welfare problems and disease issues.”