Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Paul McGrath

Question:

204 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a farmer in County Westmeath (details supplied) received correspondence indicating his entitlement to slaughter premium and top-up premium and was not paid these payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4060/03]

To be eligible for slaughter premium animals must be slaughtered in licensed meat export premises, local abattoirs within the EU or exported live to a non-EU country. On 15 April 2002 three animals were sold by the person named for export to Northern Ireland. Animals slaughtered in Northern Ireland are recorded by Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland and the details are transferred to my Department's database to be verified against the relevant export details. Payment issues automatically for eligible animals.

Following the issue of the statement by the Department in July 2002 advising the person named of eligibility under the slaughter premium scheme regarding these three animals, further checking of records revealed no evidence that the animals had been slaughtered. As a result no payment can be made in respect of these animals under the slaughter premium scheme.