Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Cecilia Keaveney

Question:

146 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the position in relation to the payment of the special area of conservation culled ewe compensation; and the timescale for the farmer to receive payments.

A compensation scheme for income losses to landowners and users affected by designation of special areas of conservation and special protection areas for birds has been submitted to the European Commission for approval. This scheme will also cover income losses arising from reduction of quotas on degraded commonages. The scheme will be available as an alternative for those farmers who do not opt to join the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development's REPS scheme.

As soon as the approval of the EU Commission has been secured any payments arising will be made as a matter of urgency.