Farmer convicted at Newry Court

Date published: 19 July 2021

Mr Patrick McVerry, Tullyah Road, Belleeks, Newry was convicted at Newry Magistrates Court on 19/07/2021 of one charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal that had already been used to identify another animal, 24 charges of failure to notify the movement of animals onto his holding or the birth of said animals, 21 charges of failure to notify the movement of animals off his holding and nine charges of providing false information to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Mr McVerry pleaded guilty and was fined £2,750 plus a £15 offender levy.

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

 

Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors:

  1. Mr Patrick McVerry 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.
  2. Mr McVerry was convicted of 24 charges of being the keeper of bovine animals, in contravention of Article 7.1 of the Council Regulations (EC) No 1760/2000 and Article 6.3 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2629/97, failed to notify the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of the movement of animals onto his holding in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 7 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, or the birth of said animal on his holding as required by Regulation 6(1) of the said Regulations, contrary to Regs 7 and 6 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  3. Mr McVerry was convicted of 21 charges of being the keeper of bovine animals, in contravention of Article 7.1 of the Council Regulations (EC) No 1760/2000 and Article 6.3 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2629/97, failed to notify the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of the movement of animals off his holding in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 7 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, contrary to Regulation 5(1) of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  4. Mr McVerry was convicted of 9 charges of knowingly or recklessly providing information which he knew or believed to be false in a notification sent by him under the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999, contrary to Regulation 5(2) of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths & Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Notification of deaths is required under Article 8 (1) Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movements) Regulation (NI) 1999. Deaths must be notified to DAERA within 7 days of death occurring. It is important that deaths are reported correctly/promptly as it enables DAERA to keep an accurate and up to date record of the animals in the herd keepers’ herds and it is also a means to detect potential welfare problems and disease issues.
  9. Provision of false information in relation to cattle movement has significant impact on the traceability of animals in terms of health status.
  10. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office
  11. 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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