On 13th June, I announced the opening of applications for the Pig Exceptional Payment Scheme 2 (PEPS2), funded from EU exceptional adjustment aid to producers in agricultural sectors which have been impacted by Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine
A total fund of €13 million is being made available for this voluntary scheme for pig farmers, to support the viability of this important sector. The scheme closed for applications on Monday 11th July.
A key condition of the scheme is to reduce breeding pig numbers by 10% as compared to the National Pig Census 2021 return and maintain that reduction for four subsequent and consecutive months. The objective of the reduction measure is to incentivise pig farmers to reduce their number of breeding sows in order to reduce their overall feed costs, and to contribute to food security by aiming to protect the viability of pig farmers. It also supports farmers who participate in animal health and husbandry measures which are seen as key drivers in productivity and feed efficiency.
I am satisfied that this condition is therefore a necessary requirement of this voluntary scheme.