Skip to main content
Normal View

Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021

Written Answers Nos. 795-811

Greyhound Industry

Questions (795)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

795. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the detail of the regulatory changes that took effect in February 2021 regarding the manner in which novice greyhounds are seeded. [61839/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. RCÉ is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The question raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for RCÉ and, therefore, the question has been referred to the body for direct reply.

Greyhound Industry

Questions (796)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

796. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if information on the traceability system RCÉTS is publicly accessible; if not, the reason; and the number of owners and keepers who have failed to update the status of their greyhound on the RCÉTS since January 2021. [61840/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. RCÉ is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The question raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for RCÉ and, therefore, the question has been referred to the body for direct reply.

Control of Dogs

Questions (797)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

797. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the microchip database of an organisation (details supplied) records the unique identifying code of the person who implants the microchip and registers the dog; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the recent seizure of 33 dogs by An Garda Síochána and another organisation were registered on the pet sellers list as billionaire bully and online adverts listed by the pet seller indicates that the dogs were registered with the first organisation; and if a commitment will be given to investigate if the dogs were in fact legally registered. [61841/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Microchipping of Dogs Regulations, 2015 includes the requirement to record the unique identifying code of the person who implants the microchip and registers the dog. Information available to my Department indicates that the microchip database referred to records this information in compliance with the regulation.

As the seizure of the animals referred to is the subject of a Garda investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (798)

Matt Carthy

Question:

798. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his proposals to incentivise and support poultry farmers to invest in and adopt best available technology in order to reduce ammonia emissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61879/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is committed to the reduction of ammonia emissions and, to this end, published the Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Reducing Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture on 12th January 2021.

There are a wide variety of items available under the suite of seven measures under TAMS which help with the reduction of ammonia emissions. Support for poultry farmers is provided under the Young Farmers Capitals Investment Scheme, and the Pig and Poultry Scheme measures under TAMS.

High concentrations of ammonia in poultry houses should be avoided, thereby minimising negative impacts on bird health and performance. Good flock management practices are a factor in controlling ammonia concentrations, including stocking density and diet management and temperature adjustments in the houses.

Controlling the ventilation rate is crucial. When ammonia levels increase, more ventilation is needed.

Accordingly, measures to help reduce ammonia emissions include ventilation fans and control system for free range layer house and broiler houses and drinker systems. Additionally, grant aid for the provision of energy efficient upgrades to buildings is a significant contributor to the control and reduction of ammonia levels in and emissions from poultry houses. Details of all grant-aided investments are available on my Department's website.

To date, total expenditure under the seven measures of TAMS, including transitional expenditure, has exceeded €325million with commitments of an additional €145million made to scheme participants who have yet to draw down those grants. Some 45,595 applications have been approved under the scheme. A total of €1.7 million has been paid to date to 168 Poultry farmers under TAMS II. No changes to the TAMS eligibility and technical criteria involved are being proposed at this time.

The On-Farm Capital investment scheme, as is the case with all proposals under the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP), is in the process of development and is subject to the formal approval of the European Commission. The public consultation on the Environmental Assessment of the draft CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 closed on 8th December 2021, and I will be reviewing the proposal in advance of the submission of the proposal to the Commission by 1st January 2022.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (799)

Matt Carthy

Question:

799. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 355 of 20 May 2021, the amount of funding provided to pillar 2 schemes from the Exchequer; the amount co-funded by scheme in 2020 to date; the allocated amounts in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61880/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As a result of my Department’s recent technical supplementary estimate and the ongoing management of financial resources, €669m has now been allocated to Pillar II schemes and €529m spent to date in 2021, with the remaining €140m expected to issue in December.

EAFRD funding claimed from the European Union on expenditure incurred from January 2021 to 15 October 2021, amounts to €160m (excluding Leader) with a further claim to be submitted for the last quarter, which will be reimbursed in 2022.

The definitive 2022 allocation will be set out in the 2022 Revised Estimates Volume (REV) which will be published later this year. I have asked my officials to forward the 2021 definitive figures to the Deputy when they have been finalised in 2022.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (800)

Matt Carthy

Question:

800. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of funding he plans to provide to pillar 2 schemes from the Exchequer; the amount co-funded from 2023 to 2027; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61881/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A total of €2.3 billion in national exchequer funding will be made available for the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan. When combined with Ireland’s €1.56 billion in Pillar II funding arising from last year’s agreement on the EU budget, this will bring the allocation for Rural Development measures to a total of €3.86 billion over the five year period.

In addition, residual spending of approximately €350m will occur under the existing Rural Development Programme in the period 2023-2025 including LEADER. The exact amount will depend on the expenditure of schemes in 2021 and 2022. The breakdown between national and the co-funded element will depend on the residual spending profiles as there are different EU funding rates including the European Recovery Instrument Funding is at 100% and will only become clearer as the programme progresses.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (801)

Matt Carthy

Question:

801. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the proposed cap of €66,000 on the basic income support scheme will impact on eco-scheme payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61882/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The CAP Strategic Plan Regulation contains a number of particular requirements for all EU Member States in relation to the redistribution of direct payments.

In that context, I am proposing to implement capping of direct payments at €66,000 by making full use of the flexibility in the regulation where payments between €60,000 and €100,000 can be reduced by 85% giving an effective cap of €66,000. I fought very hard in Europe to ensure that we had a capping of payments that brought greater fairness to the system. This capping will only apply to the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) under the next CAP. It, therefore. has no impact on Eco-Schemes payments.

Eco-Schemes themselves are being proposed for the first time as part of the next CAP and they must be funded from within Pillar I of the CAP budget. I have decided to allocate 25% of Ireland’s Direct Payments envelope to the Eco-Scheme annually, which equates to approximately €297 million per annum.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (802)

Matt Carthy

Question:

802. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount paid in pillar 1 payments to date in 2021; the total amount expected to be paid; the amount allocated in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61883/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Total CAP Pillar 1 payments for the year 2021 to date were €1.131 billion. This includes €777.5 million under 2021 Basic Payment, €340.7 million under Greening, €10.1 million under the 2021 Young Farmers Scheme and €2.7 million under the 2021 Protein Scheme. Processing of applications is continuing and further payments are being made as more applicants reply to outstanding queries and cases are resolved.

The amount allocated to the Basic Payment ceiling in 2022 is €1.186 billion. This is the gross amount and does not take into account any Financial Discipline that may be incurred.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (803)

Matt Carthy

Question:

803. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of sheep on which payments were made under the sheep welfare scheme; the payment rate in each of the years 2016 to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61906/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The number of sheep that have received payment under the scheme for each of the scheme years since Year 1 of the scheme commenced in February 2017 is set out in the following table.

Scheme Year

Number of eligible breeding ewes receiving payment

2017

1,890,130

2018

1,771,078

2019

1,724,087

2020

1,693,943

2021

1,848,077 *

* This figure is based on payments to date, which commenced in November 2021 with advanced payments under 2021 Sheep Welfare Scheme. The final number of eligible breeding ewes on which payment will be made will reflect additional payments to be made up to and including the issue of balancing payments in Q2 2022, as well as the incorporation of the 2021 census process and any other changes in participant’s flock sizes notified to my Department during the scheme year. It should also be noted that the 2021 figures reflects the change to the reference year, bringing the reference year to the higher of either the farmers’ existing reference number or their 2017 sheep census return. For those who joined as new entrants, the reference year is being updated to 2019.

The payment rate in each of the years 2016 to date was €10 per eligible breeding ewe.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (804)

Matt Carthy

Question:

804. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the indicative allocation for a sheep improvement scheme within the proposed CAP Strategic Plan intends an equal allocation of funds across all five years of the plan; the estimated number of individual breeding ewes this would support in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61907/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am committed to the long-term viability of the sheep sector and the dedicated sheep farmers who produce a world-class product. The Sheep Improvement Scheme aims to build on the progress made by the Sheep Welfare Scheme (SWS) in the 2014-2020 RDP by providing support for actions that improve animal health and welfare in the sheep sector.

The programme budget will be allocated equally across each year of the scheme. However, it should be noted that the draft scheme is based on an annual contract which will be demand-led, as was the case with the Sheep Welfare Scheme, which means the drawdown can be variable. It is projected that the measure can support up to 1.67 million breeding ewes annually.

Agriculture Schemes

Questions (805)

Matt Carthy

Question:

805. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of dairy farmers receiving less than €10,000 in pillar 1 payments for the years 2016 to date by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61908/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is currently being prepared and will be forwarded directly to the Deputy when it is available.

Agriculture Industry

Questions (806)

Matt Carthy

Question:

806. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of dairy farmers with a family farm income of less than €20,000, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61910/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Teagasc's National Farm Survey is carried out on an annual basis on a representative sample of farms to cover all farm enterprises with a standard output of greater than €8,000. The NFS represents 93,244 farms nationally but does not provide a breakdown of results by county.

According to the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) 2020, there were 16,074 dairy farms in 2020.

1,888 (12%) of these dairy farms had a family farm income (FFI) less than €20,000. This data is broken down at NUTS II level as follows: 252 in the Eastern and Midland region (13% of dairy farms in that region); 362 in the northern and western region (15%); and 1,274 in the southern region (11%). The average FFI on all dairy farms is estimated to have increased by 28% in 2021, to around €95,000, up from €74,200 in 2020. This increase is due to the combination of a 16% increase in milk prices and a 6% increase in milk production in 2021.

Fishing Industry

Question No. 808 answered with Question No. 807.

Questions (807, 808)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

807. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will extend the hours of landing at the designated piers and harbours in the State for fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland to weekends. [61911/21]

View answer

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

808. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason he has not added Dunmore East to the list of designated piers and harbours in the State that can facilitate the landing of fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland considering the presence of the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority officials at the harbour. [61912/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 807 and 808 together.

I am actively considering in consultation with the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency, the designation of Dunmore East for direct landings by fishing vessels from Third Countries and the designation of Malin Head for landings of Northern Ireland vessels.

I am also actively considering an extension to the existing opening hours of Rathmullen, Greencastle and Burtonport.

Question No. 808 answered with Question No. 807.

Calafoirt agus Céanna

Questions (809)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

809. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara an bhfuil an tuarascáil dheireannach ar a rabhthas ag fanacht maidir le Céibh Ros an Mhíl faighte; má tá, cén toradh a bhí ar an tuarascáil agus cén uair atá i gceist chun cinneadh a dheánamh maidir le forbairt céibhe doimhne mara ann, ag tógáil san áireamh an phráinn a bhaineann leis seo de bharr nach bhfuil ach achar reasúnta gairid fágtha ag an gcead pleanála don fhorbairt. [61920/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Tá an Tuarascáil Anailís Costais is Tairbhe a bhaineann le tionscadal na Cé Doimhne faighte agam agus tá scrúdú á dhéanamh ag Oifigigh i mo Roinn ar an tuarascáil seo faoi láthair, scrúdú a mbeidh ról lárnach aige sa chinneadh a dhéanfar maidir le maoiniú a chur ar fáil le haghaidh tionscadal dá leithéid.

Tá cóip den tuarascáil seo le fáil ar shuíomh gréasáin na Roinne ag an nasc seo a leanas: www.gov.ie/en/publication/be00f-fishery-harbours/#rossaveel-ros-an-mhil-fishery-harbour-centre-and-cashla-bay.

Ina theannta sin, le deireanas fuair mé cóip de thuarascáil a choimisiúnaigh Údarás na Gaeltachta ina sainaithnítear Ros an Mhíl mar phríomhshuíomh chun mol straitéiseach a bhunú ann chun tacú leis an earnáil gaoithe eischósta snámha. Tá beartais Rialtais éagsúla le cur san áireamh anseo agus ní mór breithniú cuimsitheach a dhéanamh ar na ceisteanna beartais agus ar na riachtanais infheistíochta.

Go deimhin, tá tuarascáil an Údaráis tráthúil ó tharla go bhfuil tuarascáil faighte agam freisin ón Tascfhórsa Bia Mara ina leagtar béim shuntasach ar dheiseanna a chruthú do phobail iascaireachta na hÉireann chun tionchar an chaillteanais rochtana ar uiscí na Ríochta Aonaithe a sheach-chur tríd an gComhaontú Trádála & Comhair idir an Ríocht Aontaithe agus an tAontas Eorpach.

É sin ráite, táim airdeallach ar an bpointe gurb é príomhról agus príomhfheidhm na gCalafort Iascaigh tacú leis an tionscal bia mara. Beidh sé riachtanach go gcuirfear san áireamh, in aon chinneadh a dhéanfar amach anseo tús a chur le tionscadal na Cé Doimhne in Ros an Mhíl, aon mhaoiniú Státchiste a bheidh ar fáil agus tosaíochtaí náisiúnta iomaíocha.

Common Agricultural Policy

Questions (810)

Michael Creed

Question:

810. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way the reformed Common Agricultural Policy and in particular the draft CAP strategic plan will focus on the necessity for rewarding greenhouse gas efficiency and reductions on individual farms; the way such gains will be protected within the overall agricultural emissions targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61993/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy is probably aware, we are currently finalising the preparation of our CAP Strategic Plan (CSP), which will be submitted to the Commission for approval by the end of the year. The plan contains a comprehensive set of schemes which will lead to reductions in absolute greenhouse gas emissions, with significant co-benefits for air, water quality and biodiversity. Central to the CSP is protecting and enhancing farm incomes.

The Suckler Carbon Efficiency Scheme (SCES) will build on significant investments made to date under the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP). Suckler beef farmers will be financially rewarded for participating in the scheme, which will not only improve GHG efficiencies, it will also reduce absolute GHG emissions over time, making a contribution to the sector's overall 22-30% GHG reduction target by 2030. Breeding low emitting animals will become a priority for this decade, and the Suckler scheme will support this objective. Crucially, participants will receive €150 on the first 10 cows and €120 on all remaining cows. This is significantly up on the BDGP which paid €90/cow on the first 10 in the herd and €80 thereafter.

Funding under Pillar II has been increased by over €900m in order to roll out a host of new schemes that will financially reward farmers to continue to play a leadership role in tackling climate change and addressing biodiversity and water quality. The new agri-environmental scheme under Pillar II will pay up to a maximum of €10,000/farmer. There will be a move towards rewarding farmers for results-based outcomes, which will clearly contribute to overall environmental objectives.

Under Pillar I, the Eco-Scheme measures offer a range of farmer-friendly options to participate while also having environmental benefits.

My Department is also committed to the concept of carbon farming, a key part of current EU agriculture policy.

A working group has been established which, taking account of developments at EU level, will bring forward a plan for establishing a pilot scheme.

Carbon farming has significant potential to establish alternative funding streams for Irish agriculture, working closely with voluntary carbon markets, to provide financial incentives to underpin the necessary changes in farm management. I am genuinely excited and enthused about the potential of this area and I will push it forward.

I have also established a soil carbon observatory and a soil sampling programme which will help to establish carbon baselines at individual farm levels. This will position Irish farmers to take advantage of carbon farming as the decade progresses.

Harbours and Piers

Questions (811)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

811. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development further to Parliamentary Question No. 1040 of 10 February 2021, the status of development of the pier on Inis Oírr; when she expects the works to be completed; the cost of the project to date; the estimated total cost of the project; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [61116/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

As the Deputy is aware, Galway County Council are the responsible authority for the maintenance and development of infrastructure on the Aran islands. To that end, my Department provides financial support to the local authorities for priority projects.

To address safety issues affecting the pier on Inis Oírr, the Government included development of the harbour among the capital projects identified in the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan. A steering committee consisting of representatives from my Department, Galway County Council and the Consulting Engineers was established and has been meeting regularly to monitor progress.

The Department has approved the business case for the development of the pier and Galway County Council is in the process of resolving a number of pre-construction issues prior to issuing a draft tender for the development. These pre-construction issues include preparing the CPO applications and the application for a foreshore licence for the works on the island.

Subject to the pre-construction issues being finalized, a preliminary timetable has been discussed by the development committee providing for a tendering process of approximately 9 months, after which construction will advance in stages. The finalised plan is likely to take a number of years to complete, taking into account weather and sea conditions.

The cost to date of the Inis Oírr pier development since the commencement of the project in 2004 is €978,713.59. The estimated cost of the project at present, barring any unforeseen circumstances that may arise, is approximately €20m.

Top
Share