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Farmers' Handbook

This comprehensive reference document has been amended over the life of the Scheme and is available to all farmers on the Isle of Man here on the Government website. Individual chapters are colour coded, all pages are titled, numbered and dated so that farmers can check that they have the most recent version. 

The 2013 version of the Handbook was mailed out in the post in April 2013, this has now been updated to include the revisions made over subsequent years.  Please find the ADS Farmers’ Handbook (April 2017) under Downloadable Documents on this page, you are able to download a full version or just refer to the individual Chapters.

For information, we have listed below all of the updates since the 2013 Handbook was published, which are now all included in the ADS Farmers’ Handbook:

April 2016 Update: 


Cattle Keepers: if you have an animal which dies, there are 2 options: 

ONLINE user – within seven days of the death of the animal register the death online and return the completed passport to the Cattle Passport Centre as soon as possible. 

POSTAL user – within seven days of the death of the animal return the completed passport to the Cattle Passport Centre. 

Please remember: if we carry out a CII and collect passports for animals which have not been presented during the inspection and you are unable to provide a date of death/manner of disposal they classify as ‘Missing Presumed Dead’ (MPD). These MPD passports count as 0.7 each when calculating cross-compliance breaches; these can soon add up to a financial penalty. 


During our final year of working towards ‘Official TB Free status’ (OTF), we reviewed our TB testing policy in light of several overdue TB tests. 

Failure by the keeper to comply with a request to test within 6 weeks of the due date resulted in at least 8 holdings being placed under a ‘Form A – whole holding movement restriction’ during the 2015/16 Tuberculosis (TB) testing round. 

Failure to comply is an offence under the Tuberculosis (Control & Testing) Order 2001 and article 21 allows the Department “where any person on whom a requirement is placed under Article 20 refuses or neglects to comply with these requirements without reasonable cause the Department may, without prejudice to any proceedings arising out of such default, carry out or cause to be carried out those requirements”. 

Having taken 10 years to achieve OTF status the Department requires an improved mechanism to encourage keepers to complete their TB tests on time: when reducing the level of tests it becomes more important to ensure compliance in order to maintain OTF status. 

We propose to adopt a less severe approach than our counterparts in England & Wales (due to the respective levels of TB incidence): 

  • Where a test is overdue by 30 - 60 days, a 1% reduction will be applied. 
  • Tests overdue by >60 days will incur a 5% penalty. 

This will apply to the following TB tests: 

  • routine whole herd,
  • post-import,
  • inconclusive retests,
  • part & whole herd clearing tests. 

Cattle keepers should notify DEFA Agriculture at the earliest opportunity, if they think they will not be able to complete their herd test on time.  Clearly, if there are reasons beyond the keeper’s control for example, the veterinary surgeon is ill then the farmer would get a Form A (being overdue), but cross-compliance penalties would not be initiated unless and until further failures to arrange test/present animals occur. 

We would emphasise the earlier the communication from the keeper the sooner matters can be resolved and costs avoided.  If there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. hospital etc) preventing the completion of the testing within the notified testing window, evidence of these circumstances must be provided in writing to DEFA Agriculture as soon as possible, and no later than 10 days after the testing window closes. 

N.B. In the event of death of an owner – the sale of stock could not take place until the test had been carried out. All evidence will be considered in every case, before any cross compliance penalty are applied.

March 2015 Update:


SMR 3 concerns the protection of groundwater and surface water against pollution. For the purposes of cross-compliance, 'groundwater' means all water below the surface of the ground that is in the zone of saturation (that is below the water table) and in direct contact with the land or subsoil. Surface water is that water which flows above ground but is often fed by groundwater from springs and seepages.

March 2014 Update: 

Continuing to protect and enhance the Island’s landscape and natural heritage 

It has been recognised from the start of the scheme that the issue of CCS claimants giving up fields, modifying them (removing hedges) and then claiming against them in subsequent years whilst ‘outside the spirit’ of the scheme was not adequately addressed by the legislation.  Earlier this month an amendment was made to the scheme which clarifies: 

  • Any land which has been the subject of an application in any scheme year must be maintained in the same condition for any future applications. 
  • For any new land entering the scheme, it must not be materially altered from that indicated in the aerial survey of Spring 2012. 

Both of the above clauses are covered by the Caveat: 

  • The land may be deemed to be eligible where works are undertaken which to the satisfaction of the department ameliorate any unauthorised alterations which have taken place. 

In order for an application to be successful, the department must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the land which is the subject of the claim is not materially altered from that indicated in the aerial survey. 

This update was sent to all CCS applicants on 25/4/14.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture welcomes any comments on how to continue to improve the Handbook so please contact us with your suggestions on:

Agriculture Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

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