IFA National Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has called for fair judgement in cases where farmers’ Basic Payments Scheme payments are being held back as a result of their lands being deemed to have been burned.
Pat Dunne says that unless the Department of Agriculture can prove who is responsible for land being burned, hill farmers should not be penalised.
However, he insists there must be due process that allows farmers to maintain their payments where fires damaged their land through no fault of their own.
He adds that unless such a process is put in place, farmers with burned land are being unfairly victimised and have no way to achieve a fair assessment of their situation.
The IFA will be meeting the Department of Agriculture shortly to discuss this issue.