Written Answers. - EC Western Package Scheme.

112.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will outline the environmental and conservation implications for Ireland of the EC western package scheme recently discussed by the Council of Ministers in Brussels; the present status of those proposals; and if he will outline Government policy in that respect.

The revised Western Package which I negotiated with the EC is now in operation in all the less favoured areas of the country. The centre piece of the agricultural content of the package is the provision of aid for the control of farmyard pollution and for associated animal housing. This enables my Department to give grants of 55 per cent for effluent storage and 45 per cent for animal housing. I expect that this provision will confer very great benefits as regards the protection and improvement of the environment.