Statutory Management Requirements

Agricultural management standards for protecting habitats and wildlife, managing soil and water, controlling chemical use and animal health, welfare and identification.

Introduction

Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) are agricultural management standards set out in EU and UK law. Compliance with these – and the good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) land management standards – is called ‘cross compliance’.

SMRs require farmers to protect habitats and wildlife, manage their soil and water, control chemical use and prevent animal disease. They also specify rules on animal health, welfare and identification.

GAEC applies to soil erosion, soil organic matter, soil structure and how to ensure a minimum level of maintenance to preserve habitats. For more information, see the guide on standards of GAEC.

This guide explains how you can meet SMR standards and achieve cross compliance. You must do this to ensure that your payments under programmes such as the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), Environmental Stewardship, the Rural Development Programme for England and other schemes are not reduced.

SMRs under cross compliance

Cross compliance requirements apply to you if you receive direct payments under Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) support schemes or if you receive payments under certain Rural Development schemes. To receive your full subsidy payment you must comply with the SMRs and standards of good agricultural and environmental condition requirements (GAECs) that apply to your business. Read more about GAECs in the guide on standards of GAEC. They set out activities and key dates to assure compliance with:

  • SPS – see the guide on SPS
  • other direct payment schemes run by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) – eg Aid for Energy Crops
  • Environmental Stewardship – see the guide on Environmental Stewardship: the basics
  • the Rural Development Programme for England

If you don’t carry out your SMR obligations, you may also face enforcement action and even prosecution.

You can also read the guides on air, water and soil quality: the basics and water pollution on farms.

SMRs for habitats and wildlife

Farmers working to cross compliance standards must carry out SMRs relating to areas of public, animal and plant health, and to environment and animal welfare.

The purpose of SMRs 1 and 5 are designed to protect wild birds and species of floral and fauna.

SMR 1 – Wild birds

The aim of SMR 1 is to protect wild birds, their eggs and nests. Download guidance onSMR 1 – Wild birds from the RPA website (PDF, 163KB).

For more information, read the guide on wild birds.

SMR 5 – Habitats

The goal of SMR 5 is to protect species of flora and fauna. Additional rules apply to any land designated as a ‘special area of conservation’. Find information on SMR 5 on theRPA website.

For more information, read the guide on wild plants.

SMRs for soil and water management

Farmers working to cross compliance standards must carry out SMRs relating to areas of public, animal and plant health, and to environment and animal welfare.

SMRs 2, 3 and 4 cover environmental issues concerning groundwater, sewage sludge and Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs).

SMR 2 – Groundwater

SMR 2 aims to protect groundwater by controlling discharge or disposal of potentially harmful or polluting materials. They apply if you handle, store or dispose of listed substances such as sheep dip, pesticides, ammonia or biocides.

‘Groundwater’ refers to all water below the ground’s surface and the ‘water table’, in direct contact with the land or subsoil.

View Defra’s information on SMR 2 – groundwater on the Agricultural Document Library (ADLib) website.

For more information on soil and water management, see the guides on air, water and soil quality: the basics and water pollution on farms.

SMR 3 – Sewage sludge

SMR 3 aims to prevent risks to human, animal or plant health and the soil when sewage sludge is used in agriculture.

Read the guide on sewage, sludge, slurry and silage.

View Defra’s information on SMR 3 – sewage sludge on the ADLib website. Alternatively, you can read the guide on sewage sludge, slurry and silage.

SMR 4 – NVZs

These requirements under SMR 4 aim to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources and limit its recurrence. They apply to you if your land is within an NVZ.

For detailed guidance on SMR 4, read the guide on NVZ.

If your farm is in a pre-existing NVZ you should comply with general requirements, such as the:

  • rate of nitrates application per hectare
  • inspection of fields to assess risk of runoff
  • incorporation of organic manure into bare soil or stubble – as soon as practicable

View Defra’s information on SMR 4 – NVZs on the ADLib website.

NVZ regulations

If your farm is in an NVZ, you must produce a risk map to identify suitable field locations for manure application. You must comply with the NVZ rules to be entitled to the full subsidy payment under the SPS.

From 1 January 2012, extra requirements for organic manure storage and use of low trajectory slurry spreading equipment come into force.

For more information on NVZs, see the guide on NVZ.

SMRs for control of chemicals, food and feedstuffs

Farmers working to cross compliance standards must carry out SMRs relating to areas of public, animal and plant health, and to environment and animal welfare.

SMRs 9, 10 and 11 were developed to control the chemicals used in farming and in animal feedstuffs to minimise their risk to humans, animals and the environment. They deal with restrictions on plant protection products (PPPs) and medicinal substances, and food and animal feed law.

SMR 9 – Restrictions on the use of PPPs

SMR 9 restricts the use of PPPs, to prevent injury or harm to animals, people or the environment.

Find RPA information about SMR 9 – restrictions on the use of PPPs on the ADLib website.

Read information on the use of pesticides on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website.

SMR 10 – Restrictions on the use of substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists

The aim of these requirements is to prohibit the illegal use in stock farming of substances that have a hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists, and to prevent the residues that these substances leave in meat and other foodstuffs from entering the human or animal food chain.

RPA information about SMR 10 – restrictions on the use of substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists on the ADLib website.

For more information, read the page on the hormonal treatments and antibiotics for cattle in the guide on cattle health.

SMR 11 – Food and feed law

The aim of these requirements is to ensure the safe production of food for human consumption or feed produced for food-producing animals. They apply if you are a food or feed producer or keep food-producing animals.

You can find detailed guidance on SMR 11 in the guide: farmed animal food and feed law.

Find RPA information on SMR 11- food and feed law on the ADLib website.

SMRs for animal welfare

SMRs 16, 17 and 18 were developed to help improve the welfare of calves, pigs and other farmed animals. If you keep calves, pigs or other farmed animals, they will apply to you.

SMR 16 – Welfare of calves

The aim of these requirements is to protect the welfare of calves by setting minimum standards for their care and husbandry.

You can find out more about SMR 16 in the guide on cattle welfare.

Find RPA information about SMR 16 – Welfare of calves on the ADLib website.

SMR 17 – Welfare of pigs

The aim of these requirements is to protect the welfare of pigs by setting minimum standards for their care and husbandry.

For more information on SMR 17, see the guide: pig welfare.

Find RPA information about SMR 17 – Welfare of pigs on the ADLib website.

You can also see the guide on pig health.

SMR18: Animal welfare

The aim of these requirements is to protect the welfare of farmed animals by setting minimum standards for their care and husbandry.

Find RPA information on SMR 18 – Animal welfare on the ADLib website.

SMRs for animal identification

SMR 6, 7 and 8 were developed to help improve livestock identification and traceability, particularly if there should be a disease outbreak.

SMR 6 – Pig identification and registration

The aim of SMR 6 is to reduce the risk of pig diseases spreading through controlling movements and improving traceability.

Read the guide on pigs identification, registration and movement.

You can also find RPA information about SMR 6 – Pig identification and registration on the ADLib website.

SMR 7 – Cattle identification and registration

The aim of this SMR is to maintain a system for the identification and registration of cattle to help with their traceability, in particular in the event of a disease outbreak.

Read the guide on cattle identification, registration and movement.

Find RPA information about SMR 7 – Cattle identification and registration on the ADLibwebsite.

SMR 8 – Sheep and goats identification

The aim of these requirements is to maintain a system for the identification and registration of sheep and goats to help with their traceability, in particular in the event of a disease outbreak.

Read the guide on sheep and goats identification, registration and movement.

Find information about SMR 8 – Sheep and goat identification on the RPA website.

SMRs for the prevention and control of animal disease

The aim of SMRs 12, 13, 14 and 15 is to minimise the risk posed to human and animal health by certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), foot and mouth, bluetongue and other animal diseases. These will apply to you if you keep farmed animals.

For more information, see the guide on disease notification and restrictions.

Find RPA information on SMR 12 – prevention and control of TSEs on the ADLibwebsite.

Find information on SMRs 13, 14 and 15 – control of foot and mouth disease, certain animal diseases and bluetongue on the RPA website.

Disease prevention

Defra also provides an extensive amount of information on the best ways to help prevent disease in your livestock.

For more information on key biosecurity measures you can take with your livestock, see the guides on disease prevention and disease notification and restrictions.

You can also find more information in the page on hormonal treatments for cattle and antibiotic usage in the guide on cattle health.

Disease notification

You must notify the Duty Vet of your Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) immediately if you know or suspect that an animal or carcass in your possession, or under your charge, is infected with:

  • foot and mouth disease
  • bluetongue
  • rinderpest
  • peste des petits ruminants
  • swine vesicular disease
  • epizootic haemorrhagic virus disease of deer
  • sheep and goat pox (capripox)
  • vesicular stomatitis
  • African swine fever
  • lumpy skin disease
  • Rift Valley fever

For more information, see the guide on disease notification and restrictions.

For contact details of your local AHVLA use the postcode search tool on theDefra website.

Inspections under SMRs

Your farm can be selected for a cross compliance inspection if you receive any of these types of payments:

  • payment under the SPS
  • direct payment under another CAP support scheme
  • payment under certain rural development schemes

Inspections are carried out by the RPA and three other government bodies. These are all known as Competent Control Authorities and each have different areas of responsibility that relate to specific standards of good agricultural and environmental condition and SMRs.

You can find information in the page on cross compliance inspections in the guide on cross compliance: the basics.

Further information for farmers on SMRs

Further information on SMRs is available in other guides on this website, and from the following organisations.

In England, the Cross Compliance Advice Programme, part of the Farm Advisory System, advises farmers about cross compliance. For further information, call the Cross Compliance Helpline on 0845 345 1302. Alternatively, find information on cross compliance requirements on the Cross Compliance website.

The RPA, Executive Agency of Defra, is responsible for implementing Defra’s policies on cross compliance. For more information about cross compliance and how it relates to your farming business, you can call the RPA Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777.

You can also read the guide on the SPS.

Defra administers European support policies that provide around £3 billion to UK agriculture. They also oversee a number of agencies that work with arable farmers, imports and exports of crops and implement pest and disease controls. You can call the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77.

Farmers are also likely to come into contact with local authorities over a number of farming, land use, food standards and environmental regulations. Your local authority may also be able to provide further information or resources.

Further Information

VLA Helpline

01932 341 111

Environment Agency Helpline

03708 506 506

Defra Livestock Identification Helpline

0845 050 9876

Chemicals Regulation Directorate Helpline

01904 455 775

Natural England Enquiry Service

0845 600 3078

AHVLA Information Line

0844 884 4600

RPA Customer Service Centre

0845 603 7777

Defra Helpline

08459 33 55 77

Food Standards Agency Helpline

020 7276 8829

National NVZ Helpline

0845 345 1302

Veterinary Medicines Directorate Helpline

01932 336 911

Cross Compliance Helpline

0845 345 1302

Index to cross compliance guidance on the Rural Payments Agency website

Download SMR 1 guidance from the RPA website (PDF, 163KB)

SMR 5 guidance on the RPA website

Defra’s SMR 2 – groundwater guidance on the ADLib website

Defra’s SMR 3 – sewage sludge guidance on the ADLib website

Defra’s SMR 4 – NVZs guidance on the ADLib website

Download the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ NVZ guidelines for farmers from the ADLib website (PDF, 388KB)

RPA SMR 9 – Restrictions on the use of PPPs guidance on the ADLib website

RPA SMR 10 – Restrictions on the use of substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists guidance on the ADLib website

RPA SMR 11 – Food and feed law guidance from the ADLib website (PDF, 706KB)

Pesticides guidance for use on the HSE website

RPA SMR 16 – Welfare of calves guidance on the ADLib website

RPA SMR 17 – Welfare of pigs guidance on the ADLib website

RPA SMR 18 – Animal welfare guidance from the ADLib website

RPA SMR 6 – Pigs identification and registration guidance on the ADLib website

RPA’s SMR 7 – Cattle identification and registration guidance on the ADLib website

SMR 8 – Sheep and goat identification guidance on the RPA website

RPA SMR 12 information – prevention and control of TSEs on the ADLib website

SMRs 13, 14 and 15 – guidance on control of foot and mouth disease, certain animal diseases and bluetongue on the RPA website

Download Defra’s bluetongue prevention guidance from the ADLib website (PDF, 138KB)

Download Defra guidance on how to spot foot and mouth disease from the ADLibwebsite (PDF, 752KB)

RPA cross compliance inspections process and information on the ADLib website

RPA cross compliance inspection criteria on the ADLib website

Cross compliance requirements on the Cross Compliance website

Author: MixoBiz

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