Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (1988)

Brendan Griffin


1988. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers in County Kerry who have had penalties applied to their direct 2020 payments as a result of gorse fires on commonage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14999/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Where land is burned between the period of 1st March and 31st August of any given year, it is not in a state suitable for an agricultural activity such as grazing or cultivation and, therefore, it is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), except where controlled burning is carried out.  My Department actively investigates incidents of illegal burning using satellite imagery.  Applicants who do not remove ineligible features, such as land burned during the period 1st March to 31st August, from their BPS applications, may have an over claim(s).

As a result of the processing of such cases carried out by my Department, 29 farmers in Kerry have incurred penalties/reductions on their 2020 BPS payments as a result of having burnt commonage parcels declared on their 2020 BPS applications.