Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (573)

Éamon Ó Cuív


573. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if donkeys will still count as livestock units for stocking density purposes under the disadvantaged areas scheme in 2014; if changes have been made in this regard; or whether changes are likely to the scheme this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5323/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While the Terms and Conditions governing the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme have yet to be finalised, it is not anticipated that there will be any significant changes introduced. Insofar as donkeys are concerned, these will continue to be eligible to be taken into account for stocking density purposes, provided they satisfy the Scheme requirements as heretofore i.e. are appropriately registered and in respect of which the relevant identification documentation has been has been issued, showing the animal(s) concerned as being in the ownership of the given applicant.

Where these requirements are satisfied, the animal(s) in question will be taken into account in considering the compliance of the given holding with the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements viz (i) maintain a minimum stocking level of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for seven consecutive months and (ii) maintain an annual average of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year. Furthermore, applicants must also have achieved a minimum stocking level on their holding in 2011 of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare or have successfully sought derogation from this requirement.