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Coveney, Simon

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Fodder Crisis: Motion [Private Members]

It has not passed the Minister.More Button

Fodder Crisis: Motion [Private Members] (Continued)

That is not true. The level is the same as for 2009.More Button

To the best of the Deputy's knowledge.More Button

The Deputy was not calling for it.More Button

It is not.More Button

The Deputy does not know what he is talking about.More Button

That is not true.More Button

I move amendment No. 1:

  To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:More Button

There should be no perception that by telephoning that animal welfare helpline farmers should have anything to fear. They should not. This is a pragmatic response of getting feed to animals that ...More Button

As regards credit, a fairly regular occurrence in this House is to criticise the banks and the banking system, which is understandable. However, I have spent some time on this matter with the ke...More Button

I am being told they are not on fodder. It might not be the same in the case of other loan facilities for, say, machinery or land. I am told access to credit for fodder is being made available. ...More Button

The co-ops are making significant credit available. Glanbia, for example, has made an extra €15 million available to their farmers while Dairygold, Connacht Gold, Lakeland, Kerry and others have...More Button

Farm inspections are a sensitive issue for farmers and farming organisations. We have spoken to our inspectors and they are being much more cautious and sensitive in how they treat farmers at th...More Button

In the past two weeks, we have made payments to over 1,500 farmers in the agri-environment options scheme, AEOS. Many of them have been difficult cases that have been delayed for reasons that ne...More Button

We are trying to fast-track all payments that are due.More Button

I will look into it. Payments, however, will only be delayed if there is a good reason to do so.More Button

There are serious management challenges with the management of last winter and the management of the current crisis. We now must manage to ensure we minimise the likelihood of this happening again...More Button

We are doing everything we can to intervene where there are extreme situations. I encourage farmers to use the freefone number, 1850-211990. We are continuing to import and subsidise fodder. W...More Button

We have looked at that. I spoke to the Commissioner, but it is unlikely we will be able to draw on it.More Button

On a point of information, can I clarify what the Deputy has said? The briefing in question happened many months ago. As there has been a misunderstanding about this issue, I want to clarify that...More Button

I accept that farmers have been facing a great deal of stress.More Button

Single Payment Scheme Applications

Was asked: if he will allow farmers to submit their single farm payment applications to their local district veterinary offices in view of the fact that it will speed up the process, as farmers are under pres...More Button

In order to improve its service to farmers, the Department has decided that it will acknowledge – either by text message or by post – all SPS application forms received in 2013. This is intended t...More Button

In order to be in position to carry out this process, it was necessary to provide that 2013 SPS forms together with entitlement related applications should be submitted directly to the Department...More Button

Forms may be submitted on-line, hand delivered or returned by post in the pre-addressed envelope sent out to every 2012 applicant under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme. An Express Post receipt is...More Button

The submission of on-line Single Payment Scheme application forms has increased dramatically since the introduction of this facility in 2007 and amounted to over 65,000 applications in 2012 about...More Button

The change in the procedure for the submission of paper applications will mean that many application forms will be received on an earlier date in the Single Payment Unit than in previous years. ...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Was asked: if the remaining and outstanding agri-environment option scheme payments will be issued to farmers in consideration of the crisis the farmers are currently experiencing regarding the fodder shortag...More Button

Under the EU Regulations governing all area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check of all applications, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must ...More Button

Successive EU audits have made it absolutely clear that compliance with the Regulations must be strictly adhered to and that all administrative checks must be passed and eligibility conditions me...More Button

I am conscious that farmers are experiencing difficulties given the current fodder shortage. Payments are being processed as promptly as possible. Approximately 1,500 AEOS payments issued over ...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive their agri-environment options scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1 November 2010 and full payments totalling €237.59 and €3,786.06 issued in respect of 20...More Button

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be ...More Button

Was asked: if he will take steps to expedite an application for agri-environment options scheme payment due to a farmer (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1 November 2010 and full payments totalling €830.24 and €4,928.07 issued in respect of 20...More Button

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must b...More Button

Sea Lice Controls

Was asked: in the years that the lice control protocols have been in place for salmon cage installations, the number of cases in which there has been legal action or financial penalties brought against salmon...More Button

Ireland’s sea lice control protocols are operated by the Marine Institute and involve regular inspections of marine fin fish sites by Marine Institute Inspectors (sites are inspected 14 times per a...More Button

These protocols are considered to be more advanced that those operated in other jurisdictions for the following reasons:More Button

- The inspection regime is totally independent of the industry.More Button

- Data obtained as a result of inspections is published and made widely available.More Button

- Treatment trigger levels are set at a low level.More Button

In 2008, the State introduced a new Pest Management Strategy, supplementing the control regime already in place. This has resulted in a steady decline in average sea lice numbers on farmed salmo...More Button

Ireland’s sea lice protocols have been the subject of detailed investigation by the EU Commission in response to a complaint from a member of the public in respect of the effects of sea lice on w...More Button

Fish farm operators are required to comply fully with directions to treat fish and with other directions regarding lice control. In situations where treatment has not been sufficient to bring li...More Button

Was asked: the reason data of lice levels relating to salmon cage installations is only available from the Marine Institute two to three years after the event; if the data can be made publicly available withi...More Button

Reports regarding the results of sea lice inspections are circulated on a monthly basis to stakeholders, including Inland Fisheries Ireland, Fishery owners representatives and Salmon Watch Ireland....More Button

Was asked: if treatment levels are set at 0.5 lice per salmon in salmon cage installations, regardless of numbers of salmon in cages; in view of the fact that there will be at least 7.2m salmon in the propose...More Button

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has submitted an application to my Department for an Aquaculture and a Foreshore Licence for the cultivation of Finfish near Inis Oirr in Galway Bay. The application and ...More Button

The legislation provides for extensive consultation with stakeholders, including Inland Fisheries Ireland, which has responsibility for wild salmon stocks. The legislation also provides for a pe...More Button

All matters associated with the application including the impact, if any, on wild fish stocks, will be given very careful consideration by my Department.More Button

It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on this application which is under active consideration as part of a statutory process.More Button

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Was asked: when the REP scheme payment for 2012 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named commenced REPS 4 in February 2009 and received payments for the first three years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Develo...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Galway may expect to receive a response regarding an appeal submitted under the agri-environment options scheme. More Button

The person named submitted an application form for the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme on 16th May 2011 having completed the Form B option, indicating that he had no designated...More Button

Inland Fisheries Issues

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that repair works to a fallen bridge on the border of south Tipperary and Waterford is being delayed until August-September by the Inland Fisheries; if h...More Button

The subject included in this question is not under the remit of my Department.More Button

Nitrates Usage

Was asked: in view of the current fodder crises, if all farmers will be allowed to use fertiliser with an increased amount of nitrogen and phosphates up to a maximum level of 10% above the levels agreed in th...More Button

The rules governing the use of nitrates and phosphates are set out in the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters) Regulations 2010 commonly referred to as the...More Button

These Regulations transpose the EU Nitrates Directive into law in Ireland with the objective of the Regulations being the protection of ground and surface waters including drinking water sources,...More Button

The unusually wet weather in 2012 resulted in reduced fodder being available on many farms for last winter. The cold and wet weather in the early part of 2013 led to greatly reduced grass growth ...More Button

Clearly the long-term answer to recent fodder shortages is increased grass production as soon as possible. I have asked the advisory services to prioritise advice to farmers in the period ahead ...More Button

I understand that sales to date this year of fertiliser are running significantly behind the corresponding levels of recent years. This indicates that, in the short term at least, there is signif...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Was asked: the reason a disadvantaged area payment has not been made to a person (details supplied) in CountyTipperary; when payment will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While the person named submitted details of stock on his holding in 2012, this information does not confirm that the holding satisfies the definition of an Equine Breeding Enterprise for the purpos...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Following recent direct contact by my Department with the person named, an outstanding matter regarding the application of the person named under the 2011 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has been resolv...More Button

Forestry Premium Scheme Payments

Was asked: when payment under the 2013 forestry premium scheme will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Forest Service has written to the applicant to clarify an anomaly in the Department’s records regarding the applicant. As soon as clarification is received from the applicant, the Forest Servic...More Button

Coillte Teoranta Harvesting Rights Sale

Was asked: the way he will ensure that the rural recreation aspect of the work of Coillte will be protected in the event of the forest crop being sold to private interests; his views on whether that this sale...More Button

Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my D...More Button

I am aware that Coillte currently manages 10 Forest Parks and over 150 recreation sites throughout Ireland and that their forests provide a range of recreational opportunities for the general pub...More Button

Was asked: the position in relation to the proposed sale of Coillte's harvesting rights (details supplied); his views on the impact this may have for this country and particularly for County Wicklow; and if h...More Button

Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my D...More Button

  Question No. 350 answered with Question No. 346.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding Coillte harvesting rights (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Further to the Government’s decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my...More Button

Was asked: his views on the sale of Coillte harvesting rights (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Further to the Government’s decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my...More Button

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Appeals

Was asked: if a decision has been made on an appeal of a penalty on a REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract.

  REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development...More Button

  Question No. 334 withdrawn.More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

Was asked: when a decision will be made in relation to an agri-environment option scheme 3 plan lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application under the Agri-environment Options Scheme from the person named was received in my Department on 7 December 2012 and an acknowledgement letter has issued to the person named. The pro...More Button

Departmental Properties

Was asked: if his Department and agencies under its aegis, who own or rent property in commercial developments are in compliance with their responsibilities under the Multi-Unit Development Act 2011; if he wi...More Button

Neither my Department nor the non commercial State Bodies funded by my Department, own or rent any properties in commercial complexes in which management companies are in place at this time.
...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

Was asked: when a decision will be made on the application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare for the disadvantaged area scheme 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per fo...More Button

The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. My Department has recently been advised of the successful outcome of this appeal....More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been made on the appeal for a disadvantaged area scheme payment by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement of a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per fo...More Button

The person named subsequently availed of the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. However, I understand that the Appeals Committee has been in direct contact with...More Button

Fodder Crisis

Was asked: if he will extend the transport subsidy scheme for the importation of fodder in view of the continued difficulties being faced by farmers; if he will extend this scheme to cover marts and private m...More Button

In light of the continuing fodder problem, I announced last week that the duration of the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme has been extended until Friday 10 May. More Button

I am satisfied that the volume of imported fodder is making a real difference on farms and assisting farmers through the current shortage. The extension of the scheme for a further week will bui...More Button

Apart from this initiative on the fodder transport scheme, I have addressed the issue of credit facilities with the banks and the co-ops. The banks have been requested to take a flexible approach...More Button

I am keeping the matter under constant review.More Button

Was asked: if he will extend the closing date of the fodder transport subsidy scheme from 3 May 2013 at least to mid May; if he will extend the existing distribution network to livestock marts and private mer...More Button

Was asked: if he will extend the closing date of the fodder transport subsidy scheme from 3 May to at least mid May; if he will extend the existing distribution network to lifestock marts and private merchant...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 346 and 350 together.More Button

In light of the continuing fodder problem, I announced last week that the duration of the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme has been extended until Friday 10th May. I am satisfied that the volume...More Button

Apart from this initiative on the fodder transport scheme, I have addressed the issue of credit facilities with the banks and the co-ops. The banks have been requested to take a flexible approach...More Button

Was asked: if he will discuss with all suppliers of feed stuff for animals in order to request them to reduce their prices to try to alleviate the pressure on struggling farmers who cannot afford to feed thei...More Button

In light of the continuing fodder problem, I announced last week that the duration of the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme has been extended until Friday 10th May. More Button

I am satisfied that the volume of imported fodder is making a real difference on farms and assisting farmers through the current shortage. The extension of the scheme for a further week will bui...More Button

Apart from this initiative on the fodder transport scheme, I have addressed the issue of credit facilities with the banks and the co-ops. The banks have been requested to take a flexible approach...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: the allocations made from the National Reserve for the years 2007 to 2012; and the numbers applying for such allocations on a county basis for each year.More Button

The following table details the National Reserve allocations made by my Department for the scheme years 2007 – 2012. In addition this table includes the number of individual applications made on a...More Button

Farm Inspections

Was asked: the number of farm inspections that have taken place in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013; and the amount of moneys which have been expended by his Department in relation to these inspections in each ...More Button

Due to the volume of the information requested by the Deputy, it was not possible to provide it in the required time. I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as it is available.More Button

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Was asked: if he has carried out any study or assessment to quantify any mitigating effects that arise regarding greenhouse gas emissions due to open grassland farming, the extensive hedgerow system and fores...More Button

My Department, on an ongoing basis, provides funding to Teagasc and to Irish third level institutions for research into the best ways to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through the land based sec...More Button

Animal Diseases Issues

Was asked: if he will ensure his Department will provide the most up to date advice and guidance regarding an advance of the next breeding season schmallenberg disease in order to keep losses to a minimum as ...More Button

My Department is continuing to monitor developments in relation to this recently discovered virus which is spread by midges. More Button

It is expected, that as the vector active season progresses over the summer there will be significant spread of the virus and infection. The effects of the spread of the virus will depend on the ...More Button

It is generally impractical to attempt midge control measures except for valuable breeding stock and it would be hoped that a strategy of exposure of non-pregnant animals may in fact be beneficia...More Button

Agriculture Schemes Payments

Was asked: if he will ensure that the forthcoming single farm payment advance disadvantaged areas, agri-environment option scheme, REP scheme payments are made at an early date in view of the current fodder a...More Button

I am acutely aware of the financial and other difficulties being experienced by some farmers as a result of recent unseasonable weather, with difficult conditions experienced on farms last summer h...More Button

Grant Payments

Was asked: if, in view of the farming crisis and the next round of grants to be made available to farmers, the provision of a grant for the purpose of building a hay shed will be made a priority (details supp...More Button

The current programme of on-farm investment schemes operated by my Department closes for applications at the end of this year and provides grant-aid for investments in relation to a number of speci...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the position regarding single farm payment that were claimed by a person as an individual in 2011, but the farming set up is now run by them through a limited company; if the company can continue t...More Button

Where an individual farmer sets up a limited company the Single Payment entitlements may be transferred to that company provided the main business of the company is carrying on the business of farm...More Button

The herd number should also be transferred from the individual farmers to the Company.More Button