Written Answers. - Commonage Framework Plans.

Jackie Healy-Rae

Question:

73 Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food why a person (details supplied) with a quota of 187 in 1998 is left with a quota of 62 in 2003; the facts and calculations which influenced this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21955/02]

According to the commonage framework plan the destocking percentage in respect of the commonage concerned is 32.71%. The person named held a ewe quota in 2001, including frozen quota, for 187 ewes and his bovine units in 2001 from the CMMS converted to 198.99 ewe equivalents, bovine units multiplied by 6.7, bringing the total ewe equivalents to 385.99, that is 187 plus 198.99. His total forage area of land accepted on his 2001 area aid application was 49.96 hectares including 28.67 hectares of commonage land. Therefore the stocking density for his holding is 7.73 ewe equivalents per hectare, which was obtained by dividing the total ewe equivalents of 385.99 by the total forage area of 49.96 hectares.

Based on these figures the formula to calculate the destocking under the commonage framework plans was then applied as follows: since the stocking density in respect of the holding of the person named is greater than five ewe equivalents per hectare and the percentage destocking in respect of the commonage concerned according to the CFP is greater than 20%, the polluter pays principle applies before the usual calculation is carried out. The first formula to be applied is the stocking density in excess of five multiplied by the total forage area of the commonage land, that is 2.73 ewe equivalents multiplied by 28.67 hectares which results in 78 ewes to be destocked.
The usual formula is then applied to the remaining stocking density of five which is multiplied by the hectares of commonage land and multiplied by the destocking percentage. All three land parcels declared are subject to the same percentage destocking of 32.71% as per the CFP. The second calculation in respect of the person named was therefore five multiplied by 28.67 and multiplied by 32.71% resulting in an additional 47 quota rights being destocked.
The total quota rights being destocked in this instance is 125, that is 78 plus 47. Since the person named held a quota of 187 premium rights, his quota for 2003 will be 62 or 187 less the 125 to be destocked.
Since the person named is not currently a participant in the rural environment protection scheme he will be obliged to apply to join REPS or the national scheme to be operated by Dúchas during 2003. Compensation for destocking is available under these measures.

Jackie Healy-Rae

Question:

74 Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason commonages at Teerane and Ferriters Quarter have had no destocking while Geaigue which is an adjoining commonage, has been destocked by 33%; the way in which this was calculated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21956/02]

Under the 1998 agreement with the Commission, which secured generous REPS payments on commonages, my Department together with Dúchas was required to have framework plans prepared for each commonage. Each commonage was assessed by a team of two, one agriculturalist and one ecologist, under the overall supervision of the two Departments. The framework plans are objective scientific assessments of the environmental state of the commonages and the impact on them of grazing by sheep.

The percentage destocking is directly related to the environmental condition of the commonage and this is reflected in the varying degrees of destocking required across different commonages.

Jackie Healy-Rae

Question:

75 Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will establish the promised commonage appeals body without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21958/02]

My Department, in conjunction with Dúchas, is currently making arrangements for the establishment of a commonage framework plan appeals body. I will make a detailed announcement shortly about its composition and procedures.

Appeals will be considered on environmental grounds only. Where a representative number of shareholders in a commonage do not accept the scientific basis on which the commonage destocking figures in the framework plan are based, they will have the possibility of putting their case before an appeals body. Some funding will be made available to appellants to enable them to have a professional assessment of the framework plan carried out.

Pending the outcome of an appeal the destocking in the relevant framework plan will be implemented.

Mildred Fox

Question:

76 Ms Fox asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the way in which a destocking rate of 34% in respect of Ballyreman commons, Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow, was determined; and the factors which influenced his decision to apply this rate. [21959/02]

Under the 1998 agreement with the Commission, which secured generous REPS payments on commonages, my Department together with Dúchas was required to have individual framework plans prepared for each commonage. Each commonage was assessed by a team of two, one agriculturalist and one ecologist, under the overall supervision of the two Departments. The framework plans are objective scientific assessments of the environmental state of the commonages and the impact on them of grazing by sheep.

The percentage destocking is directly related to the environmental condition of the commonage and this is reflected in the varying degrees of destocking required across different commonages.