Donegal farms seek ‘track and trace’
machinery scheme

The growing incidences of Cross Border farm thefts has led to calls for the introduction of “track and trace” scheme by the IFA.

The growing incidences of Cross Border farm thefts has led to calls for the introduction of “track and trace” scheme by the IFA.

Donegal IFA is currently pioneering a process for marking trailers and farm equipment but the national committee his now calling for a wider scheme to be adopted.

IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has called for the introduction of a ‘track and trace’ compliance scheme, which would compel all scrap metal dealers to record the source of the scrap metal received. The scheme would also have mandatory checks by local authorities and An Garda Síochána, which would include regularly inspections of records and premises.

Speaking following the recent publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, Harold said, “These figures confirm the increased incidence of robberies and thefts reported by IFA members, often accompanied by threats and intimidation. We are getting reports of valuable machinery disappearing from farmyards and fields all over the country as part of work carried out by a sophisticated network of criminals.”

“It is becoming increasingly evident that those behind the thefts have access to significant resources that enables them to steal large machines, and store them for some time before disposing of them. What is of most concern is the fact that over 60% of thefts and related offences remain undetected.”

He said, “This situation cannot be allowed to continue and IFA, as part of the Association’s submission to the National Waste Policy review, is calling for the immediate introduction of a ‘track and trace’ compliance scheme, to monitor the movement of scrap metal and identify individuals that trade illegally in such materials.”

He said, “It is not good enough for dealers to accept goods at face value without checking their ownership.

“A robust compliance system would close off the outlet for those responsible for the thefts, as dealers would face the consequences of receiving stolen goods.”

In other news IFA President John Bryan has strongly criticised the Small Firms Association for its suggestion to impose commercial rates on the farming sector, which supports 300,000 jobs and thousands of small businesses around the country. John Bryan said, “Farm buildings, which are those linked to primary agricultural production, are not located in towns and cities, and therefore do not benefit from the services provided for commercial buildings in urban areas. 

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