The burden of admin is causing farmers "angst" says Deputy Brendan Smith.

Regulatory burden on farmers must be reduced - Smith

RED TAPE Minister promises "simplification" where possible

A Fianna Fáil TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to raise at EU level the need to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers.

Deputy Brendan Smith began by noting how farmers have to "go to enormous lengths" to satisfy the EU's regulatory requirements.

"I understand there is a need for checks but there's far too much of an administrative regulatory burden on farmers at present. It's causing many farmers huge angst," he asserted.

"They need greater flexibility so I'm calling on my party colleague, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, to raise these concerns at an EU level."

In response Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD said his Department had been working closely with the European Commission, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and other Member States to reduce the administrative burden on farmers. Hesaid he had asked for "flexibility in the implementation" of a number of the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs), in recognition that farmers are struggling with new requirements.

"I am conscious of the pressure that farming is under and I have, where feasible and legal, during the first year of the CAP made changes to the schemes to address farmers' concerns," the minister claimed. "I will continue to work closely with other Member States, stakeholders and with my officials to ensure simplification where possible."