Co Armagh farmer convicted at Armagh Court sitting in Newry Court

Date published: 04 October 2021

Mr Sam Young (47), Clare Road, Tandragee, Craigavon was convicted at Armagh Magistrates' Court sitting in Newry Magistrates' Court on 4th October 2021 of one charge of failure to notify the movement of six cattle onto his holding and one charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal which had been previously used to identify another animal.

Mr Young pleaded guilty and was fined £2,000 plus £15 offender levy.

The case arose following a cattle identification inspection carried out by Officers from DAERA’s Welfare and Enforcement Branch.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Mr Young was convicted of one charge of in contravention of Article 7.1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 and Article 6.3 of the Commission Regulation (EC) No2629/97, failed to notify the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of the movement of six bovine animals onto his holding in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 7 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, contrary to Regulation 5(1) of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  2. Mr Young was convicted of one charge of except with the permission of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, used for identifying an animal an ear tag which had at any time already been used for identifying another animal, contrary to Regulation 7A(B) of the Cattle Identification (No 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. The importance of correctly identifying a bovine animal cannot be overstated; an animal’s identification number accords it a description, sex, age, movement history, and disease status. Thus falsely using another animals I.D, for example; means an animal with Tuberculosis, Brucellosis or B.S.E. (or from a herd affected by these diseases) could be accorded a disease free status, allowing spread of disease to humans and livestock, and ultimately could enter the human food chain.
  6. Thus falsely using another animals I.D. means an older animal could be presented as a younger animal and thus permit its entry into the human food chain, possibly increasing the risk to humans of infection with CJD
  7. An animal could also be fraudulently presented as a younger animal, such as an animal aged over 30 months presented as an animal aged under 30 months, to enable it to be slaughtered for a purpose for which it would not otherwise be eligible in order to achieve a higher price for the animal. Such actions jeopardise the reputation of our entire agri-food industry.
  8. The Department regards the false identification of cattle as extremely serious because it corrupts animal traceability and undermines the credibility of Northern Ireland's computerised Animal Public Health Information System (APHIS).
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  10. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.
  11. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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