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Sheep Welfare Scheme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 26 September 2017

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Ceisteanna (434)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

434. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to provide an increase in the sheep welfare payment in view of the fact it is of vital importance to ensure the viability of sheep farmers' incomes into the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40434/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Sheep Welfare Scheme was introduced to make a vital contribution to ensuring the continuing viability and sustainability of the sheep sector in Ireland. There are also a variety of other supports available to sheep farmers under schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme, GLAS, TAMS, Knowledge Transfer and the Areas of Natural Constraint scheme.

The details of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, including the amount of payment to participants, were approved by the European Commission in 2016. The payment rates are based on the agreed costings underlying the actions to be undertaken in the scheme, and an increase in payments would thus require changes to the actions currently being undertaken by farmers. Any such changes to the details of the scheme would require the agreement of the European Commission via the formal Rural Development Programme amendment process. It is not currently anticipated that there will be an increase in the level of payment to participants of the scheme.

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