Know How / Compliance

Farmers have to comply with an ever-changing array of financial, planning, environmental, animal welfare, safety and employment legislation.

This page will guide you through the maze of rules and regulations, highlight when new ones are being introduced and offer advice on how to avoid common pitfalls.

Key areas of focus:

  • Environmental permits and licenses
  • NVZs
  • Cross-compliance
  • Farm inspections
  • Cattle movement and transport

Practical advice

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Advice on planning your slurry storage requirements

With the Welsh government proposing to introduce its Agricultural Pollution Measures regulations across Wales farmers will need to review their slurry storage and weigh up options to tackle any under-capacity.…


How to avoid drone insurance and licensing pitfalls

Farmers with drones are putting themselves at risk of huge fines because of legal confusion over what constitutes commercial use.   Rural insurer NFU Mutual says it is concerned that…


Top tips to pass a pig farm assurance scheme audit

While regular audits are routine on UK pig farms, some pork producers can expect more frequent visits in future after Red Tractor introduced tougher compliance standards. Red Tractor assured pig…


Handy guide to key cross-compliance dates 2019

Defra and the agricultural departments of the devolved administrations have released the key dates in 2019 to help farmers avoid breaching cross-compliance rules. The rules apply to all Basic Payment…


How to control smells on poultry farms

Keeping a tight lid on smell is one of the primary responsibilities of the poultry farm manager. Statutory authorities have a duty to deal with odour complaints from a variety…


The rules for legal storage of pesticides on farm

Pesticides must be stored properly to protect people and the environment, but stores can vary from purpose-built barns to converted buildings. We explain the rules so that you stay compliant…


Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Plant protection product stewardship campaigns are now at the heart of industry efforts to prevent further losses of under-threat active ingredients. Here, we give a reminder of the key actives…


Farming near footpaths - the law for arable farmers

The majority of farms have some form of public right of way across them, whether it is a footpath, bridleway or byway. But when walkers are heading for your crops,…


Guide to safe storage and spreading of slurry and fertiliser

Farmers are coming under increasing environmental pressure when it comes to safe use of manures and fertilisers. New legislation requires all farmers to meet Nitrate Vulnerable Zone standards, whether they…


Flying a drone: Everything you need to know about staying legal

Anyone using a drone for commercial purposes must get the correct accreditation or risk heavy penalties under current legislation. This includes farmers who use drones within 150m of a residential…


What tougher tail docking inspections mean for pig farmers

Tail biting in pigs is a welfare issue that causes pain, possible infection and loss of performance. For this reason, although tail docking is not legally permitted in the UK…


3 steps to avoid sheep cross-compliance blunders

Many farmers are still making sheep identification and record-keeping errors, according to latest Defra figures. Cross-compliance is a set of rules made up of Statutory Management Requirements (SMR) that must…


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Licence for shooting pest birds - where do farmers stand?

Natural England’s recent decision to revoke the general licence for controlling certain pest bird species came as a surprise and has stirred up controversy between farmers and environmental groups. The…


Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see tens of…


Red Tractor's new inspection regime - what you need to know

Red Tractor is increasing the number of unannounced inspections on farms that fall short of its standards, using a new risk-based inspection regime which will start in November 2018.  Currently…


Guide details how farmers can reduce ammonia emissions

A  guide published on Friday (27 July) sets out the steps farmers, advisers and contractors can take to reduce ammonia emissions and help improve air quality. The Code of Good…


Gove's new farm pollution controls: The details and reaction

Stricter controls are to be imposed on fertiliser, manure and slurry applications under government plans to improve UK air quality. Dairy and beef farms are among the sectors that will…


What EU ammonia rules could mean for UK pig producers

UK ammonia targets are under negotiation and if reductions are implemented it could cause extra pressure for pig producers and livestock farmers. Nigel Penlington, head of research, development and knowledge…