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Written Answers. - Suckler Cow Premium Scheme.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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 129. Mr. N. Treacy Information on Noel Treacy Zoom on Noel Treacy  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates  if existing quotas, the property of farmers who applied for suckler cow premia and who subsequently did not qualify for part thereof due to the conflict pertaining to fresian animals, will have their premiums restored to full payment immediately for the maximum quota of animals which they legally hold; if these quotas have been kept intact for them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4618/96]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates With effect from 1995 EU regulations governing the [816] suckler cow premium scheme require that cows must be of a beef or predominantly beef breed in order to be eligible for the premium.

Under the EU regulations governing the use of quota the position up to now was that an applicant had to use at least 50 per cent of his quota rights in at least one of two consecutive years; otherwise the part not used during the second year would be forfeited and returned to the national reserve. For example an applicant with a permanent quota of 20 rights who used only nine rights in 1994 must have used at least ten rights, 50 per cent of his quota, in 1995. From 1996 onwards the quota regulation provides that farmers holding quotas of seven or less must use at least 70 per cent of their quota in at least one of two consecutive years, otherwise the part not used during the second year will be forfeited and returned to the national reserve. Farmers whose quotas are greater than seven must use at least 70 per cent of their quotas every year, otherwise the part not used will be forfeited and returned to the national reserve. Farmers with justifiable exceptional circumstances may be exempted from these rules. Use of quota means making application for and being entitled to payment on a certain number of animals. Where a quota holder makes application for the suckler cow premium on an animal which is deemed ineligible for any reason, including an ineligible breed, he is not regarded as having used a quota right in respect of that animal. In certain cases, the imposition of penalties could result in an applicant being deemed ineligible for any premium in respect of a given year or, in some cases, for two years. In such circumstances the applicant is deemed to have used quota in respect of the number of eligible animals found at the field inspection which gave rise to the penalty.


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