Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

623 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry when persons (details supplied) in County Mayo will be paid their REP scheme in view of the fact that there is no commonage on their application and they were promised payment in December 1995. [16314/96]

The persons in question have applied to my Department under the REPS scheme. These applications are among a number which have been the subject of ongoing discussions between my Department and the REPS planning agency involved, as there is a doubt as to whether separate applications can be justified. My Department has, therefore, sought legal advice in the matter and will notify the applicants of their entitlements as soon as possible.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

624 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry when a decision will be made in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo in relation to his ewe premium appeal. [16372/96]

This appeal is now being considered by the Headage and Premia Appeals Unit. The herdowner will be notified of the outcome of the appeal as soon as the case has been fully examined by the Headage and Premia Appeals Unit.

Michael Bell

Ceist:

625 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry whether there is a capital grant scheme for improving welfare standards for battery hens by providing capital grants to cover existing cages, purchase new cages or refurbish or build new houses; if so, the number of applications received to date on a county basis; the number of approvals issued to date on a county basis together with the number of applications processed; the period of delay between application and approval; the total amount of grant approved to date; the total amount of moneys paid to date; when the scheme will be terminated; the finance which has been provided in respect of this scheme; the EU funding which has been provided in this regard; the finance which has been allocated by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16381/96]

Provision is included in the Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry, 1994-1999 for a scheme for the improvement of animal welfare standards which includes battery hens.

There is a provision of £195 million for on-farm capital investment over the six year period of the Operational Programme. As well as animal welfare, this provision also covers the farm improvement programme, improvement of dairy hygiene standards and the control of farm pollution. Any expenditure in this area is co-funded by the EU at a rate of 75 per cent with the Exchequer providing the balance of the public funding required.
No expenditure has been incurred in the scheme for battery hens because of operational difficulties in commencing the scheme.

John Ellis

Ceist:

626 Mr. Ellis asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will increase from 30,000 to 40,000 the eligibility limits for grant assistance towards the provision of milk tankers. [16463/96]

Milk producers in the category referred to by the Deputy are currently eligible for grant assistance towards the purchase of milk tanks under the dairy hygiene scheme.

Joe Walsh

Ceist:

627 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will have arrangements made to approve a milk hygiene grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [16524/96]

A decision in this case will be made in the near future.

Joe Walsh

Ceist:

628 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will pay a full rate of compensation to enable a person (details supplied) in County Cork to dispose of his animals due to the outbreak of BSE. [16525/96]

An offer based on the market value of the herd has been made to the herdowner but he has not accepted the offer made. Further contact is being made with the herdowner to see whether progress can be made in securing agreement.

Joe Walsh

Ceist:

629 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will pay the second stage of a REP scheme grant to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [16526/96]

Payment issued to the applicant on 23 September 1996.