asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if his attention has been drawn to the fact that (a) a substantial number of cattle will not qualify for this year's beef scheme as they have already been punched and (b) beef producers will be unable to avail of recently announced grants.
Written Answers. - Beef Scheme Grants.
Under the EC special beef premium scheme the premium is payable on each eligible animal only once in its lifetime. As the EC regulation governing the scheme allows premium to be paid on any animal that has reached nine months of age, my Department accepts applications each year from farmers who have such animals. In these circumstances I am fully aware of the fact that once these animals are inspected, ear-punched and passed for payment of premium at a fairly young age, such premium cannot be claimed or paid in respect of them again during their lifetimes.