Why we inspect

Our programme of inspections is designed to help safeguard the environment, the public, crop health, animal welfare and meet our obligations for using European Commission money.

It’s important that we conduct inspections as the Scottish Government – and by extension the taxpayer – can be fined by the European Commission for failing to meet certain funding, welfare and environmental regulations.

Inspections cover many areas, from animal and crop inspections, to inspections that check up on capital and environmental projects.

Overall, our inspectors make sure Scotland’s rural environment is well managed and help to minimise the risk to taxpayers from European Commission penalties.

In addition, our crop certification scheme inspections validate the high quality standards of the Scottish industry and support our export trade.

If you’ve received funding from either Direct Payments or the Scottish Rural Development Programme then you may be visited by one of our inspectors.

And even if you don’t receive funding, we’re responsible for inspecting businesses or private property where certain types of animals are kept, both for commercial reasons or as pets.

Most of our inspections are unannounced but, in some cases, we may give up to two days’ notice.

You can check what type of inspection you may face using our inspections checker.

Inspections checker

If you would like any further advice or information about our inspections programme, you can contact your local area office, Forestry Commission Scotland or Scottish Natural Heritage.

Contact us