Written Answers. - Suckler Cow Quota.

John Perry

Question:

158 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if a suckler cow quota for a person (details supplied) in County Sligo will not be forfeited to the national reserve in view of the fact that he was not aware that he could have leased or sold it and taking into consideration the information with which he was supplied by the Department in 1997 when he was in ill health; if he will rescind the decision made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5095/00]

Under EU regulations governing the quota regime, farmers holding suckler cow quotas of seven or less premium rights are required to use at least 90% of that quota in any one of two consecutive years, otherwise the part not used in the second year will be forfeited and returned to the national reserve. Quota leased out is regarded as quota used but quota may only be leased out for three consecutive years.

The person named held a suckler cow quota of seven premium rights. He applied for suckler cow premium on three cows in 1998 and on one cow in 1999 and did not lease out quota in either year. As the amount of quota used in both years is less than 90% of his permanent quota, the quota not used in the second year, that is, six premium rights has to be returned to the national reserve.

The person named was written to on 1 February 2000 to this effect. There is no record in my Department of having received a reply to this letter. If the person named would reply immediately, submitting all relevant details, to the quota section, Michael Davitt House, Castlebar, County Mayo, I will have the case reviewed.