Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

73 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has not received a cattle and sheep headage payment for 2000. [17536/01]

The 2000 area aid application submitted by the person named was incomplete in that it did not include all necessary maps for a new plot of land which he included in his application. He was written to on a number of occasions, but no response was received.

Consequently his 2000 area aid application has now been processed based only on the information to hand from his 1999 application, excluding the new plot of land, and is clear for payment with no outstanding errors.

The closing date for area aid applications was 28 April 2000, and late applications incurred a penalty of 1% per working day on any aid payable. As he did not submit his 2000 area aid application until 15 May 2000, his 2000 cattle headage grants, 2000 sheep headage grants and his 2000 suckler cow premium will be reduced by 10%.

The person named applied on seven cows under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme and on seven beef cows and nine other animals under the 2000 cattle headage scheme. When his cattle headage application was being processed it was discovered that one animal, tag number JLTZ0013Q, was not in his ownership and possession when the application was lodged. He was written to by my Department on 9 October 2000 advising him that he was in breach of paragraph 19 of the terms and conditions of the cattle headage scheme. He was given the opportunity to have this decision reviewed. He replied on 20 November 2000 stating that he had another eligible animal. He was written to on 11 December 2000 informing him that no grant would be paid on the ineligible animal, and that grants payable on the remaining animals on his cattle headage application would be subject to a reduction penalty of 6.25% under the terms and conditions governing the cattle headage scheme. He was given the opportunity to appeal this decision by writing to the headage and premia appeals unit, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 within 21 days. The person named did not reply, and was contacted by my Department by telephone on 16 January 2001, when he stated that he did not wish to appeal the decision.

His entitlements under the 2000 cattle headage scheme and the 2000 sheep headage scheme will issue within the next seven days, and his entitlement under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme will issue within the next 14 days. As his suckler cow quota in 2000 was six, payment will be based on this number.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

74 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will pay out the ewe premium for 2001, as recently agreed in Europe; and when he hopes this money will be paid out. [17537/01]

In the light of the situation which emerged from the cull of animals linked to the foot and mouth crisis, additional checks and controls of applications under the 2001 ewe premium scheme are currently under way. I have asked my officials to give priority to completing this exercise to enable ewe premium payments to commence as soon as possible.

Michael Creed

Ceist:

75 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the situation regarding payment of extensification and suckler cow grants to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [17538/01]

The person named applied on 59 suckler cows under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme. He received premia amounting to a total of £8,696.01 under this scheme and a total of £267.86 under the 2000 suckler cow scheme euro compensation.

All applications received by my Department under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme have now been cross-checked with the cattle movement monitoring system, CMMS. With regard to the application submitted by the person named this cross-check showed that one of the animals applied on was slaughtered within the six months retention period of the scheme and the person named did not notify my Department of its slaughter, nor of a replacement animal, as he is required to do under the terms and conditions of the scheme. He was advised by letter of 29 April 2001 that this animal was now rejected and that in fact he had been overpaid a total of £300.72 under the scheme. He was given the opportunity to have this decision reviewed and he wrote to my Department on 3 May 2001 with details of a replacement animal. However, this animal was not acceptable as an eligible replacement since it was under eight months of age at the date of disposal of the animal applied on. My Department wrote to him on 1 June 2001 confirming this position and he was given the opportunity to appeal this decision to the appeals unit. The person named confirmed by telephone on 6 June 2001 his acceptance of the overpayment under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme.

His entitlement under the 2000 extensification premium scheme will issue to him within the next ten days. The amount overpaid under the 2000 suckler cow premium scheme will be deducted from this entitlement.

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

76 Mr. M. Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development when a 2000 special beef premium will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [17539/01]

The person named submitted three 2000 special beef premium applications as follows: 15 animals on 3 February 2000; nine animals on 1 March 2000; one animal on 30 May 2000.

The second application of the person named was the subject of an on-farm inspection. This inspection was carried out on 29 May 2000. At this inspection it was discovered that the nine animals listed on the application had lost both their ear tags. Where in excess of 20% of the number of animals listed on an application are non-compliant with tagging requirements EU regulations require forfeiture of premium on all animals applied on in the 12 months prior to the date of inspection.

This has resulted in non payment of premium on the nine animals submitted on 1 March 2000 and the 15 animals submitted on 3 February 2000. A further payment on one animal submitted in the previous 12 months i.e. on 18 August 1999 has also been forfeit. However the animal applied on 30 May 2000 subsequent to the inspection has been paid.

Seamus Kirk

Ceist:

77 Mr. Kirk asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will consider the feasibility of introducing exchange arrangements for ewe quota to suckler cow quota for farmers in the Cooley Peninsula who wish to change or modify their farm enterprise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17540/01]

The rules governing entitlement to suckler cow and ewe premium quota are set down in EU regulations. Under these rules individual quotas have been allocated on the basis of premiums paid to producers in a given reference period. In addition, producers can acquire quota or lease by purchasing or leasing quota from other producers on the open market.

The most practicable mechanism for producers in the Cooley peninsula to exchange ewe premium quota for suckler cow quota would appear to be to sell their ewe premium rights and purchase suckler cow quota on the open market. Such transactions can be arranged privately or through local auctioneers.