Budget Consultation Process

Questions (2020)

Robert Troy

Question:

2020. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has met with representatives of an organisation (details supplied) and had his attention drawn to its requests and concerns in advance of budget 2020; and his plans to ensure the budget requests of the organisation which have been submitted are accommodated as part of budget 2020. [31754/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have not met with representatives of HSI on this matter. I have, however, recently received a submission from HSI and this will be examined carefully and will be taken into consideration in the context of Government proposals with regard to Budget 2020.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (2021)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

2021. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the assessment carried out to ensure that the 13 inspection bays for sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, and food safety checks that are due to be in place in Dublin Port by 31 October 2019 are sufficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32045/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has been actively participating in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparedness and contingency planning. In particular we have been engaging very closely with the Office of Public Works, the Department of Transport, the Department of Health and the Revenue Commissioners in relation to the infrastructure required to implement import controls on agri-food and fishery products coming from the UK through Dublin Port.

My Department has conducted a range of analysis and research in relation to Brexit, amongst which included an assessment of the number of inspection bays required in ports and airports. This assessment was based on the examination of international trade data. My Department and I have also engaged extensively with relevant stakeholders regarding the potential practical impact of import controls on the day-to-day functioning of trade flows. This assessment has provided the basis for the infrastructure required to ensure that our legal obligations are fulfilled as efficiently as possible while minimising the possible disruption to trading arrangements.

In the lead up to 29 March and 12 April, arrangements were finalised to ensure that sufficient infrastructure was in place to provide an emergency response to a no-deal Brexit. These arrangements included the provision of infrastructure for customs, SPS and health checks and controls at Dublin Port. This infrastructure forms the basis for the incremental development of long-term infrastructure, including the enhanced facilities that will be in place for 31 October. Plans are in place to construct additional inspection bays and turnout sheds, while some of the facilities that will be in place for 31 October will be retained.

Brexit Supports

Questions (2022)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

2022. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the specific supports in respect of flexibilities in state aid and in the Common Agricultural Policy he requested of the European Commission in the context of Brexit as stated in the Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union Contingency Action Plan Update of July 2019. [32362/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Our practical preparations for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit, continue to be progressed and refined through the whole-of-Government co-ordination structures that have been in place for some time.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government will implement a range of economic responses that will seek to mitigate the impact on vulnerable sectors and groups, within this macro-economic framework. This approach will include:

- Targeted supports for vulnerable but viable sectors and enterprises;

- Labour market and activation interventions to support employees affected;

- Continued increased capital investment in accordance with Project Ireland 2040 which will act as a stimulus to the economy;

- Continued engagement with the European Commission and other Member States in respect of financial supports and flexibilities under State Aid rules and the Common Agricultural Policy.

I and my officials have been working very hard for quite some time to sensitise other Member States and the European Commission to the potentially very severe impacts of Brexit on the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors, and to the likelihood of specific supports being required in order to deal with these impacts. The institutions of the European Union are very well aware of the likelihood of a significant impact of a disorderly Brexit on Ireland’s economy. This has been part of the discussion from the beginning, and indeed, this is explicitly recognised in the Commission’s own communication on contingency planning.

I have stressed the need to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on farmers and processors, including through traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, as well as increased flexibility under State Aid regulations, which has already been the subject of discussions with the Commission. Commissioner Hogan reiterated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland, and we will remain in contact on these issues as the situation evolves.

As regards state aid, my Department operates the State aid rules and regulations governing the agriculture sector, where the state aid limits under the agriculture de minimis regulation recently increased from €15,000 €25,000 per undertaking over a rolling three year period. This will allow for greater flexibility and efficiency, notably in times of crisis and situations demanding a swift response by the public authorities. I have said that the State will not be found wanting when it comes to supporting the Irish agri-food sector and farmers when it comes to Brexit. The increase in the agriculture de minimis limits is an important step. I am continuing to explore options under the State aid rules with the European Commission to support the agri-food industry at this time.

With regard to increases or exemptions to state aid limits applicable to other sectors, this is a matter for the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, who are the competent authority for the implementation of the general State aid rules and regulations in Ireland.

Brexit Supports

Questions (2023)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

2023. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €78 million Brexit support package included in budget 2019 for farmers, fishers and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32364/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Budget 2019 provided for a Brexit Resilience Package of €78 million for the agri food sector which included a range of measures to support farmers and industry to address the challenges that lie ahead in this uncertain period.

The measures include €44 million of direct aid for farmers, comprising :

- An additional €23 million for farmers in Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), allocation for 2019, bringing the allocation for 2019 to €250 million .

- The introduction of a €20 million Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot scheme. (BEEP). This is a new pilot scheme targeted at Suckler farmers, and aimed at further improving the economic and carbon efficiency of Irish beef production.

- An additional €1m in funding for the horticulture sector, bringing the total provision for a sector particularly challenged by Brexit to €6 million.

- This package also included capital €27 million in Brexit-related supports for the food industry comprising:

- €13 million in supports for food industry competitiveness and innovation;

- €3 million for Artisan and Micro food and beverage programmes through the Leader Programme and for LEAN manufacturing initiatives designed to improve competitiveness.

- an additional €5 million for Bord Bia, bringing the total Grant in Aid to €46.6 million.

- €6 million in funding to progress an €8 million Food Innovation Hub in Teagasc Moorepark, of which €2 million was provided in 2018.

In terms of the Brexit preparedness work in my Department, I have provided €7million for staff and IT costs arising from additional import control and export certification requirements arising as a result of Brexit.

In addition to the Brexit Resilience package in Budget 2019, the Government has introduced a series of low interest loan schemes, including a new “Future Growth Loan Scheme” which will bring up to €300 million of loans to the market and will support strategic long-term capital investment in a post-Brexit environment by SMEs, farmers and fishermen. The Scheme is open for eligibility applications since 17th April 2019.

Pesticide Use

Questions (2024)

Michael McGrath

Question:

2024. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the practice of spraying glyphosate on food crops before harvest; if work has been carried out to assess the impact of same from a public health perspective; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32633/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Regulatory decisions on the approval and use of pesticides are based on the scientific consensus view of all the relevant technical information from all sources. In regard to glyphosate, my Department is guided by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who have both concluded, on the basis of extensive reviews, and involving public consultation, that glyphosate can be used safely without putting consumers or users at risk. The EFSA review included an assessment of potential dietary exposure that could result from pre-harvest use. This process guided the decision to renew the authorisation of glyphosate within the European Union in 2017.

Following the approval of active substances at EU level, plant protection products (formulations containing the active ingredient) are assessed thoroughly at a national level on the basis of detailed scientific evaluations conducted in accordance with agreed EU standards and taking account of local agronomic and environmental conditions. This process is currently on-going at Member State level. My Department will only authorise plant protection products on the basis of robust scientific evidence indicating high levels of protection for human and animal health and the environment.

The EU process for consideration of a further renewal of approval of glyphosate will begin in December 2019 and a full dossier will be submitted to the Member States Assessment Group on Glyphosate (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) by 15 June 2020. This process will involve a comprehensive scientific evaluation of all relevant data from all sources and will include a public consultation period. My Department will continue to monitor international peer-reviewed scientific evidence and the guidance provided by EFSA and ECHA.

Pesticide Use

Questions (2025)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

2025. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department is liaising with its EU counterparts regarding the possible links between glyphosate and cancer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32681/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Regulatory decisions on the approval and use of pesticides are based on the scientific consensus view of all the relevant technical information from all sources. In regard to glyphosate, my Department is guided by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who have both concluded, on the basis of extensive reviews, and involving public consultation, that glyphosate can be used safely without putting consumers or users at risk. The EFSA review included an assessment of potential dietary exposure that could result from pre-harvest use. This process guided the decision to renew the authorisation of glyphosate within the European Union in 2017.

Following the approval of active substances at EU level, plant protection products (formulations containing the active ingredient) are assessed thoroughly at a national level on the basis of detailed scientific evaluations conducted in accordance with agreed EU standards and taking account of local agronomic and environmental conditions. This process is currently on-going at Member State level. My Department will only authorise plant protection products on the basis of robust scientific evidence indicating high levels of protection for human and animal health and the environment.

The EU process for consideration of a further renewal of approval of glyphosate will begin in December 2019 and a full dossier will be submitted to the Member States Assessment Group on Glyphosate (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) by 15 June 2020. This process will involve a comprehensive scientific evaluation of all relevant data from all sources and will include a public consultation period. My Department will continue to monitor international peer-reviewed scientific evidence and the guidance provided by EFSA and ECHA.

Rural Innovation and Development Fund

Questions (2026)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

2026. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if further funding will be provided for the social farming scheme to include more persons with disabilities in County Kerry and nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32853/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An allocation of over €710,000 is being provided for Social Farming in 2019 under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund (RIDF).

A number of Social Farming initiatives are currently being implemented across the country including the development and implementation of the national Social Farming Network by Leitrim Development Company in collaboration with other Local Development Companies. A number of social farming model projects are also underway. These include:

- South Kerry Development Partnership for the ‘Kerry Social Farming Project’

- Down Syndrome Ireland Cork Branch for phase 2 of the ‘Fields of Dreams’ project

- Leitrim Integrated Development Company for a ‘Social Farming Best Practice Model’

The contracts awarded under Social Farming for the national Social Farming Network and the development of social farming model projects are due to expire later this year. However, under the terms of the contract they can be extended for a further year.

Social Farming is available to people who use health and social services, including disability and mental health services. If commissioners or advocates of these services wish to explore Social Farming for their clients, they should make contact with the National Social Farming Office or the Regional Development Officer for their area. Contact details are available at – www.socialfarmingireland.ie/contact.

Afforestation Programme

Questions (2027)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

2027. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the estimated cost of planting 125,000 hectares of foresting with a mixture of broad leaf and native species. [33585/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Estimated costs for planting 125,000 hectares of forestry with a mixture of 70% conifer and 30% native broadleaf to comply with the requirements in the current forestry programme is €567 million based on current 100% establishment costs and fencing grants.

Premiums for the 70% conifer and 30% broadleaf mixture would be almost €69m per year for 15 years based on the current premium duration.

TB Eradication Scheme

Questions (2028)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

2028. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) can return to work on their farm. [31472/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The farm belonging to the person named entered a new TB breakdown on 1st March 2019 as a result of reactors being identified in a post de-restriction test, with further reactors disclosed on the first reactor retest on 8th June 2019.

When a TB breakdown occurs, certain controls are put in place in an effort to eradicate the disease from that holding and to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading to other holdings. These controls are a critical part of TB Eradication programme and are to the overall benefit of farmers. The local regional veterinary office (RVO) personnel communicate with farmers in person once a herd enters a TB Breakdown outlining the exact TB controls that are to be put in place as a result of a Herd TB Breakdown.

A meeting between the herd owner and his representative and officials from my Department was held in mid April 2019, at which the TB situation in respect of this farm was outlined. A letter also issued to the herd owner on 21st June 2019 indicating that staff from my Department would be available to meet should a further meeting need to take place in relation to the TB outbreak.

In relation to TB compensation, this herd already received payment in relation to reactor grant on 17th April 2019 and is due a further reactor grant payment in mid-July 2019. The herd will also be eligible for Income Supplement compensation from 24th July 2019.

As regards compensation, a comprehensive regime is in place for herd owners who are affected by bovine TB, including compensation both for direct and indirect losses. The primary compensation scheme for TB affected herds is the On-Farm Market Valuation (OFMV) Scheme under which compensation is payable for cattle removed as reactors on the basis of the open market value, subject to certain ceiling limits. Herd owners with restricted and TB affected herds may also qualify for supplementary payments under the Income Supplement and Hardship Grants Schemes subject to compliance with the relevant criteria. Entitlement to compensation is conditional on herd owners complying with the provisions of National and EU legislative requirements and controls relating to animal welfare, disease, movement and identification.

Legislative Reviews

Questions (2029)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

2029. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the primary legislation enacted since May 2016; and if in each case, the legislation placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31474/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

This Department has enacted 2 pieces of primary legislation in the period concerned. They are the Sea-Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2019 No. 9 and the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 No. 15.

The first of these Acts creates no additional regulatory burden and merely replaces the Voisinage agreement that allowed for reciprocal fishing rights in all Irish waters for both Irish and Northern Irish registered fishing boats. The second Act provides for enabling provisions that give the statutory authority concerned greater regulatory oversight of the Greyhound Industry.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

Questions (2030)

Tom Neville

Question:

2030. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31498/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has enacted 57 Regulations since the beginning of 2018 and details of these are provided below.

By their nature, Regulations are inclined to impose a regulatory requirement on those that are the subject of those Regulations. The Deputy will appreciate that the vast majority of Regulations brought forward by this Department have, as their purpose, the protection of food safety, fishing, animal health and welfare and the environment. Consequently, the protection afforded by such Regulations assists many small and medium enterprises that operate in those sectors.

Full List of S.I.s Enacted since 1 January 2018:

S.I. No. 20/2018 - Knackery (Bovine Notification) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 21/2018 - European Communities (Control of Organisms Harmful to Plants and Plant Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 46/2018 - European Communities (Control of Organisms Harmful to Plants and Plant Products) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 68/2018 – Forestry Appeals Committee Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 85/2018 – European Communities (Official Controls on the Import of Food of Non-Animal Origin for Pesticide Residues) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 86/2018 – European Communities (Control of Organisms Harmful to Plants and Plant Products) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 87/2018 – European Communities (Control of Organisms Harmful to Plants and Plant Products) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 88/2018 – Sea Fisheries (North Western Waters Landing Obligation) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 89/2018 – European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 99/2018 – Sea-Fisheries (Quotas) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 127/2018 – Animal Health and Welfare Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018

S.I. No. 128/2018 – Animal Health and Welfare (Livestock Marts) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 135/2018 – Animal Health and Welfare (Application of Act to Disease) Order 2018

S.I. No. 137/2018 – European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Landing Obligation) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 145/2018 – Animal Health and Welfare (Export) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 155/2018 – Sea-Fisheries (Community Control System) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 156/2018 – European Union (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 159/2018 – Tobacco (Areas for 2018) Order 2018

S.I. No. 160/2018 – Razor Clam (Conservation of Stocks) (North Irish Sea) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 164/2018 – Agriculture Appeals Act 2001 (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 171/2018 – Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 240/2018 – Aquaculture (Licence Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 257/2018 – European Union (Plastics and other materials) (Contact with food) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 262/2018 – National Milk Agency (Conduct of Elections) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 263/2018 – National Milk Agency (Election Day) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 303/2018 – European Communities (Minimum Conditions for Examining Agriculture Plant Species) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 304/2018 – European Communities (Minimum Conditions for Examining of Vegetable Species) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 330/2018 – European Communities (Official Controls on the Import of Food of Non-Animal Origin for Pesticide Residues) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 331/2018 – European Union (Organic Farming) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 369/2018 - Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Mussel Seed) (Opening of Fisheries) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 387/2018 - European Communities (Marketing of Ornamental Plant Propagating Material and Ornamental Plants) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 444/2018 - European Communities (Control of Organisms Harmful to Plants and Plant Products) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 446/2018 - Sea-Fisheries (Community Control System) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 447/2018 - Sea-Fisheries (Common Fisheries Policy) (Bluefin Tuna) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 453/2018 - European Communities (Seed of Fodder Plants) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 454/2018 - European Union (Cereal Seed) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 523/2018 - European Communities (Pesticide Residues) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 593/2018 - Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 640/2018 - Horse Racing Ireland Act 2016 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2018

S.I. No. 26/2019 - Brown Crab (Conservation Of Stocks) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 43/2019 - Sea Fisheries (North Western Waters Landing Obligation ) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 70/2019 - Sea-Fisheries (Quotas) (Deep-Sea Stocks) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 71/2019 - Sea-Fisheries (Quotas) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 165/2019 - Sea-Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019

S.I. No. 198/2019 - European Communities (Marketing Of Fruit Plant Propagating Material) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 199/2019 - European Union (Seed Potatoes) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 227/2019 - European Communities (Control Of Organisms Harmful To Plants And Plant Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 243/2019 - European Communities (Sheep Identification) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 244/2019 - Diseases of Poultry (Compensation) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 245/2019 - Animal Health (Trade in Salamanders) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 248/2019 - European Communities (Official Controls on the Import of Food of Non-Animal Origin for Pesticide Residues) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 254/2019 - European Union (Carcase Classification and Price Reporting) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 276/2019 - Aquaculture Appeals (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 278/2019 - European Union (Plastics and other materials) (Contact with food) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 289/2019 - Crawfish (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 302/2019 - European Communities (Minimum Conditions For Examining Agriculture Plant Species) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 305/2019 - European Communities (Minimum Conditions For Examining Of Vegetable Species) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

Animal Welfare

Questions (2031)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2031. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of successful prosecutions taken to date under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013; the number of cases awaiting determination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31518/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 provides a modern framework for applying standards in the area of animal health and welfare and replaced a number of enactments dating back over a century. The Act was passed, after lengthy and constructive debate in both Houses of the Oireachtas and came into operation on 6 March 2014.

Offences under the Act may be prosecuted in the District Court by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, local authorities and members of An Garda Síochána. Matters tried on indictment are the remit of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the normal manner. Accordingly, the statistics set down in this answer relate to cases prosecuted at the suit of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Prosecutions under the Act have been pursued following investigations by authorised officers of my Department, An Garda Síochána and authorised officers of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These officers investigate matters relating to animal cruelty and neglect and, where the evidence supports such action, a file is prepared and the matter pursued through the Courts..

Since the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 came into operation in March 2014, 83 individuals have been successfully prosecuted. Fines in excess of €50,000 have been imposed. Six persons have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment which were suspended in 4 cases. The Probation Act was applied in 6 instances.

Eleven persons have been disqualified from keeping animals under section 58 of the Act.

Summonses have issued in 29 cases which remain before the Courts. A further six files have been sent to the Chief State Solicitor with a view to institute proceedings and a further five files are currently being examined in my Department with a view to pursuing a prosecution if the evidence so warrants.

Animal Welfare Expenditure

Questions (2032)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2032. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the support provided to urban horse welfare projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31519/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In November 2014, Local Authorities were informed of details of an initial fund of €1 million being made available by my Department to develop facilities for urban/traveller horse projects.

Expressions of interest were sought from those authorities who wished to initiate projects. While initial uptake was slow, several projects are currently being progressed by local authorities in conjunction with animal welfare organisations. The total draw down of funds since the fund’s inception is €1.2m.

The Department also supports education projects both in and outside the urban horse projects.

The projects are a positive and welcome development and assist urban/traveller horse owners in complying with equine-related legislation including identification and control of horses. Education courses provided within the framework of the projects give the horse owners an opportunity to acquire skills in relation to caring and managing horses alongside a broader education.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (2033)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2033. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of young farmers that received increased grant aid under the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme, TAMS, to date by county; the value of funding provided under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31520/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

To date, a total of €67m has been paid to farmers under the Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme of TAMS II. The county breakdown, in terms of young farmers paid in each county, is shown in the table.

County

No. paid

Carlow

36

Cavan

67

Clare

85

Cork

287

Donegal

68

Dublin

6

Galway

148

Kerry

109

Kildare

30

Kilkenny

123

Laois

63

Leitrim

32

Limerick

108

Longford

30

Louth

21

Mayo

72

Meath

44

Monaghan

55

Offaly

69

Roscommon

68

Sligo

30

Tipperary

157

Waterford

90

Westmeath

30

Wexford

121

Wicklow

36

Total

1985

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (2034)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2034. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers grant aided to date to use low emissions slurry spreading equipment; the value of funding provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31521/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

To date under the TAMS II Schemes, 1,175 farmers have received €15.7m in grant assistance to purchase Low Emission Slurry Spreading equipment.

The adoption of dribble bar, shallow injection and trailing shoe technology is making an important contribution in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the Irish livestock sector.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme

Questions (2035)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2035. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers grant aided to date for renewable energy equipment under the TAMS scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31522/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Grant aid under the Tams II Scheme is available for Renewable energy technology. The renewable energy eligible items are Solar Photovoltaic panels, Solar Thermal panels and Biomass Boilers. These eligible items are all available under the Pig and Poultry measure.

However, since the introduction of Tranche 14 on 6th April, Solar Photovoltaic is now available to all the farming sectors under Animal Welfare, Young Farmers and Organics measures. As this tranche has only recently closed, my Department is currently assessing the applications received.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Questions (2036)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2036. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding announced under the fisheries local area group development programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31530/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department's €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme is the vehicle for financial supports to the seafood sector for the period 2014 to 2020. The Programme delivers a wide range of supports for aquaculture, fisheries and seafood processing through a suite of 18 schemes. The Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

The Fisheries Local Area Development Scheme is providing €12 million EMFF support to projects within coastal communities around Ireland. The Scheme aims to promote innovative approaches in coastal communities to create growth and jobs in those areas, in particular by adding value to fishery and aquaculture products and diversifying the local economy towards new economic activities, in particular those offered by blue growth and the broader maritime sectors.

There are seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAG) established around our coast and each has developed its own Local Development Strategy, tailored to the respective FLAG's territory. The Boards of the seven FLAGs determine which projects are to be selected for EMFF funding from their allocated budget.

In 2018, the 7 FLAGs paid out grants of €1,948,444.72 to 209 local projects, while since its commencement in 2017, the scheme has paid out total grants of €3,723,007.69 to 342 projects.

In May of this year, I announced a tranche of 2019 EMFF FLAG grant awards as outlined in the table below. These will be drawn down by the applicants over the course of 2019 and, in some instances, in 2020.

FLAG

Number projects

Total Investment

Grant Awards

Northeast

36

€1,652,695

€973,221

Northwest

42

€589,471

€336,024

South

29

€551,236

€337,270

Southeast

41

€1,178,540

€757,817

Southwest

17

€238,597

€183,216

West

62

€1,306,294

€808,764

North

47

€852,891

€581,412

TOTAL

274

€6,369,724

€3,977,724

Beef Environmental Efficiency Scheme Data

Questions (2037)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2037. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applicants that will benefit under the beef environmental efficiency pilot by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31531/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) is a one year pilot to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality data on herd performance, supporting decision making on farm.

There are currently 19,131 participants in BEEP, a breakdown of which is provided in the table below, by county.

No. of Applicants

County

269

CARLOW

923

CAVAN

1,483

CLARE

1,412

CORK

912

DONEGAL

55

DUBLIN

2,070

GALWAY

965

KERRY

217

KILDARE

526

KILKENNY

514

LAOIS

645

LEITRIM

610

LIMERICK

574

LONGFORD

182

LOUTH

1,762

MAYO

454

MEATH

648

MONAGHAN

477

OFFALY

1,119

ROSCOMMON

801

SLIGO

852

TIPPERARY

292

WATERFORD

591

WESTMEATH

462

WEXFORD

316

WICKLOW

Requirements of the Pilot include:

1 All Calves being submitted for weighing must be born between 01 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.

2 Unweaned Live Calf and Dam must be weighed on the applicant's holding on the same day.

3 Only scales registered and used in accordance with the requirements of Annex 1 of the Terms and Conditions of the Pilot may be employed for the purposes of this Pilot.

4 Weights must be submitted between 08 March 2019 and 01 November 2019 in accordance with Annex 1 of the Terms and Conditions of the Pilot.

Young Farmers Scheme

Questions (2038)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

2038. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of young farmers who received support under the young farmers scheme since its introduction by county; the value of funding provided under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31532/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The number of young farmers that received support under the Young Farmers Scheme since its introduction in 2015, by county, is set out in the following table.

County

2015

2016

2017

2018

CARLOW

134

133

134

111

CAVAN

334

353

372

369

CLARE

351

357

373

373

CORK

969

1,030

1,030

1,038

DONEGAL

378

388

377

342

DUBLIN

40

38

38

39

GALWAY

706

764

775

808

KERRY

449

493

493

475

KILDARE

130

134

134

129

KILKENNY

298

312

312

308

LAOIS

257

264

274

276

LEITRIM

235

234

241

223

LIMERICK

344

367

360

345

LONGFORD

139

148

151

154

LOUTH

92

91

92

90

MAYO

687

713

705

745

MEATH

258

252

250

258

MONAGHAN

207

228

224

213

OFFALY

233

259

251

263

ROSCOMMON

348

351

358

354

SLIGO

176

204

214

213

TIPPERARY

467

470

495

499

WATERFORD

229

236

237

231

WESTMEATH

164

173

184

181

WEXFORD

364

368

361

349

WICKLOW

158

153

158

153

The value of funding provided to successful applicants under the scheme by year is as follows:

2015 €18.5 million

2016 €19.5 million

2017 €19.7 million

2018 €19.8 million.

Forestry Grants

Questions (2039)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

2039. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of a forestry application submitted in March 2019 by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31583/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

An application for the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme was received on behalf of the person named on 28th March, 2019. The application was advertised and certain referral bodies were consulted.

Every application is carefully examined, with regard to environmental considerations. In this case, because the site hydrologically connected to a designated site, a Natura Impact Statement will be required. This request is being prepared by my Department's ecologist and the applicant and their registered forester will be notified of the requirements shortly.

Legislative Reviews

Questions (2040)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

2040. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of reviews carried out by his Department pursuant to Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann; the pieces of legislation to which each review refers; the number and title of each piece of legislation in respect of which a review pursuant to Standing Order 164A has not been undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31622/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I wish to inform the Deputy that, pursuant to the requirements of Standing Order No.164A, one post-enactment report has been published by my Department. That report is in respect of the Forestry Act, 2014 and was laid in the Parliamentary Library on 25 September 2018.

Following the enactment of the Horse Racing Act in 2016, appropriate Statutory Instruments (S.I.s) were required to commence various sections of the Act. S.I.s 138 and 629 of 2016 apply. S.I. 640 of 2018 gave operational effect to Section 12 of the Act from 01 January 2019.

The Greyhound Racing Act 2019 was signed by the President on 28th May 2019. Appropriate statutory instruments are required to commence various sections of the Act and these will be drawn up by Bord na gCon in consultation with my Department.

Post-enactment reports for this legislation will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order No. 164A and will be published in due course.

Departmental Correspondence

Questions (2041)

Niall Collins

Question:

2041. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on correspondence from a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31648/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The GLAS scheme is now fully subscribed and there are no plans to reopen the scheme to new applications.

Agri-environment policy is included in the CAP reform negotiations currently under way and any future schemes will be dependent on the outcome of these negotiations.

In this regard, my Department has received a submission from the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) which will be considered in the context of the CAP Post-2020 consultation process.

Fish Quotas

Questions (2042)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Question:

2042. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he has taken in conjunction with EU coastal state colleagues to correct the perceived flawed scientific advice furnished by ICES which formed the basis for the 2019 mackerel quota; the measures he is proposing to the EU in order to correct the under allocation of mackerel quota for Ireland; the timeline for allocating the balance of the quota which was due in the first instance; if he has raised the specifics of dealing with the need to correct the anomaly in a time orderly manner with the EU; the extent of debate and discussion he has had on the issue with the EU to date; the further discussion which he plans to have in order to resolve the matter for fishermen here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31651/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The situation in relation to mackerel is that the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) advised in September 2018 that the 2019 TAC should be 318,403 tonnes - a reduction of 68% compared to 2018. ICES did, however, warn about sensitivity of the assessment to some of the data

inputs.

Following five meetings in October/November 2018, the Coastal States party to the 2014 Mackerel Sharing Agreement (European Union, Norway and the Faeroe Islands) decided on a precautionary reduction of 20% and requested ICES to conduct an inter-benchmark review to look at the sensitivities in the data inputs especially tagging data. ICES completed the review in March 2019 and re-evaluated the state of the stock.

New advice was published on the 15th May and this revised the advised catch figure from 318,403 tonnes to 770,358 tonnes – an increase on the current TAC of 18%. For Ireland, if applied, this would equate to an increase in our quota of just under 10,000 tonnes.

Following the publication of the new advice, two further Coastal States meetings were held in London on the 20/21 May and 12/13 June. Ireland, as did other Member States, sought to revise the 2019 mackerel TAC in line with the new advice. Unfortunately, it did not prove possible to achieve agreement between the Coastal States on a revision to the TAC.

New advice for 2020 is expected in late September and the Coastal State consultations will resume in October.

Brexit Supports

Questions (2043)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

2043. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the conditions that will be attached to successful applicants for the Brexit relief beef fund announced by the EU Commission in advance of the recent local and European elections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31652/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year for farm incomes in 2018 due to adverse weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the on-going uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

The recent announcement by Commissioner Hogan of EU exceptional aid for the Irish beef sector is very welcome in this context. I have been making the case for some time for an exceptional aid package from the EU Commission for Irish beef farmers, at EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings, and in direct consultation with the Commission. The announcement by the Commissioner is another example of the importance of EU solidarity when it comes to facing significant economic challenges.

This exceptional aid provision will be given effect through a Commission Implementing Regulation. While Member States were invited to give an opinion on the draft Regulation through the Commission’s Common Market Organisation (CMO) Management Committee, the Regulation is within the Commission’s own legal competence, and was not for negotiation with Ireland or indeed other Member States, in terms of its content. The Regulation was published on 2 July 2019.

The draft proposal on the Measure as presented to stakeholders during the recent consultation process is available on my Department's website at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/beefexceptionalaidmeasure/190710EAMPresentationStakeholderConsultationCompressed110719.pdf

Details of the measure must be submitted to the European Commission before 31 July 2019, and are also the subject of consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Full details, including terms and conditions, will be issued as soon as this process has concluded.

Brexit Supports

Questions (2044)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

2044. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if supports from the Brexit relief beef fund will be available to farmers that trade in stock on a cross-Border basis in the same manner as others; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31653/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers in particular, following a difficult year for farm incomes in 2018 due to adverse weather conditions. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the on-going uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.

The recent announcement by Commissioner Hogan of EU exceptional aid for the Irish beef sector is very welcome in this context. I have been making the case for some time for an exceptional aid package from the EU Commission for Irish beef farmers, at EU Council of Agriculture Minister meetings, and in direct consultation with the Commission. The announcement by the Commissioner is another example of the importance of EU solidarity when it comes to facing significant economic challenges.

This exceptional aid provision will be given effect through a Commission Implementing Regulation. While Member States were invited to give an opinion on the draft Regulation through the Commission’s Common Market Organisation (CMO) Management Committee, the Regulation is within the Commission’s own legal competence, and was not for negotiation with Ireland or indeed other Member States, in terms of its content. The Regulation was published on 2 July 2019.

The draft proposal on the Measure as presented to stakeholders during the recent consultation process is available on my Department's website at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/beefexceptionalaidmeasure/190710EAMPresentationStakeholderConsultationCompressed110719.pdf.

Details of the measure must be submitted to the European Commission before 31 July 2019, and are also the subject of consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Full details, including terms and conditions, will be issued as soon as this process has concluded.