Farmers get a break over ’20 mile rule’

Farmers with fragmented farms are being advised to ignore letters from the Department of Agriculture telling them that they need separate herd numbers if cattle are being kept on fields more than 20 miles apart.

Letters enforcing the "20 mile rule" began arriving on farms last week, with all the farm organisations swamped with complaints and queries.

Now, after a meeting between the department and the farm organisations last evening, the department says it will revisit the issue.

South Donegal farmer John Barron is the ICSA's National Rural Development Officer. He says this seems to be another case of a rule which was always there, but is only now being enforced: