I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 176 together.
The objective of the Fallen Animal Subsidy Scheme is to facilitate the collection and TSE testing of over 48 month fallen bovine animals and ovines where required by EU Regulations.
The scheme was introduced on the 16th April 2009, and to date over 624,000 bovines have been processed through the scheme at a cost of €73.6m. Under the earlier Fallen Animal Scheme (2001 to April 2009), payment was made based on tonnage of animal collected rather than on an individual animal basis. Expenditure under this scheme amounted to €166m.
The potential environmental impact of non-collection of fallen stock is of great importance to my Department and, to that end, discussions have taken place between the Animal Collectors Association and my Department officials on the animal collection service.
Following those intensive discussions, agreement has been reached that enables the collection of fallen animals to resume from 17th September. My Department has also issued correspondence to ACA confirming the agreement reached at the meeting.
Further discussions between my Department and the ACA are planned to progress issues relating to supports for the animal collection service.