Fianna Fáil Secures Concession for Hill Farmers

Donegal Hill Farmers Benefit

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Brian Ó Domhnaill has welcomed the Department of Agriculture decision to accept Fianna Fáil proposals which allow Hill Farmers to draw down direct payments and not be forced by EU and Department Regulations to fence such lands.

 

The Donegal Senator has been pressing the issue over the last number of months through the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee following consultations with the United Farmers Association (UFA).

 

Senator Ó Domhnaill said; “This issue pertains to the terms and conditions of 2013 direct payments. The conditions request farmers to have appropriate fencing for their farm enterprises. The criteria compels farmers with Mountain/Hill land to have sheep fencing put in place. This criteria was setting Irish Farmers up for major EU direct payment penalties. It was also compelling Hill Farmers into a situation where they would have to spend thousands of euro’s an unnecessary fencing .”

 

“I was very concerned that this issue had the potential to put small hill farmers out of business as the new CAP Programme encourages farmers to maximise their eligible acres as payments move to an area based system.”

 

“The proposals which I had tabled to the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee received the full support of the committee in the meeting of 22nd October last. The proposals centred around excluding Mountain and Hill areas that had been traditionally unfenced from conditions 3 and 4 of the direct payments scheme.”

 

“Those proposals were sent to Department of Agriculture for consideration and I am now pleased to welcome confirmation from the Agriculture Minister in a Parliamentary reply that Hill Land, where the lands continue to be actively farmed in the traditional manner by Hill Farmers, will now not need to be fenced so long as other general compliance measures are met.”

 

“In my view, this represents a great relief to many concerned Hill Farmers across Donegal and Western Counties.”

 

ENDS (For further information contact 086 8218084) 

 

-Note to Editors -

 

EXISTING TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

The following is  an extract from the terms and conditions of the single farm payment scheme OF 2010

For land to be eligible, a number of further conditions have to be complied with, namely:

The land must be used and managed by the applicant. The land must be suitable for and compatible with the farming 1. enterprise;

There must be independent access for animals and/or machinery. Independent access means access by public or private 2. roadway or by a defined right of way. Access over adjoining landowners land is not acceptable;

There must be appropriate fencing for the farming enterprise. Appropriate fencing means stockproof fencing that will 3. control the applicant’s animals and also the neighbouring farmer’s animals. In mountain/hill areas this generally means sheep fencing;

There must be defined external boundaries except in the case of commonage;4.

If at inspection the applicant claims to be farming the land with animals then the type of animals must be appropriate to 5. the land and there must be handling facilities available to meet the animals’ welfare requirements.

Land

 

 

Now by 2012 this had changed to include two additional conditions at number 6 and 7 which is directed at “map acre “ farmers

 

For land to be eligible, a number of further conditions have to be complied with, namely:

1. The land must be used and managed by the applicant. The land must be suitable for and compatible with the farming enterprise;

2. There must be independent and suitable access for animals and/or machinery. Independent access means access by public or private roadway or by a defined right of way. Access over adjoining landowners land, or over land which is subject to a lease or rental agreement to another person, is not acceptable;

3. There must be appropriate fencing for the farming enterprise. Appropriate fencing means stockproof fencing that will control the applicant’s animals and also the neighbouring farmer’s animals. In mountain/hill areas this generally means sheep fencing;

4. There must be defined external boundaries except in the case of commonage;

5. If at inspection the applicant claims to be farming the land with animals then the type of animals must be appropriate to the land and there must be appropriate handling facilities available to meet the animals’ welfare requirements.

6. The releasing of animals onto a parcel without conducting the normal husbandry and welfare practices throughout the year does not satisfy the requirement of an agricultural activity and will be deemed to be in breach of Article 30 of Council Regulation 73/2009

7. There must be evidence of an agricultural activity being conducted throughout the parcel, otherwise the unused part of the parcel may be found to be ineligible. This can arise where the stocking rate is too low

 

 

Both these terems and conditions can be accessed on the web

 

 

 

Article 30COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 73/2009

of 19 January 2009

establishing common rules for direct support schemes for farmers under the common agricultural

policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, amending Regulations (EC)

No 1290/2005, (EC) No 247/2006, (EC) No 378/2007 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003

 

 

 

 

Posted: Dec 13, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized