ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)

7.4    ‘Force majeure’ (exceptional circumstances)

Where a breach is due to circumstances beyond your control that could not have been avoided by reasonable action, the Secretary of State has a discretion to decide not to take enforcement action to recover or withhold payments. In order for ‘force majeure’ to be taken into account, you must have notified your RDS office of the ‘force majeure’ event in writing within ten working days of you, or your representative, being in a position to do so. Please note that these categories are very narrow and cover only the most exceptional circumstances.

Examples of ‘force majeure’ are:

  • death of the agreement holder;
  • long-term incapacity of the agreement holder;
  • expropriation of a large part of the land provided this could not be anticipated when the agreement was signed;
  • severe natural disaster gravely affecting the land;
  • accidental destruction of livestock buildings on the land;
  • an epizootic (such as foot and mouth disease) affecting part or all the agreement holder’s livestock.
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