Minster Creed Announces €13.4m Basic Payment Scheme Refund to 98,000 farmers The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the commencement of payments of over €13.4 million to approximately 98,000 farmers.
Minster Creed Announces €13.4m Basic Payment Scheme Refund to 98,000 farmers
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the commencement of payments of over €13.4 million to approximately 98,000 farmers. This money was deducted from their 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under the Financial Discipline rule, and is now being reimbursed in line with the EU regulations.
Minister Creed said ‘I am pleased to confirm that these payments totaling €13.4 million are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers.’ The Minister added that “these payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme to €1.19 billion”.
Note to editors
In the context of the annual budgetary procedure of the European Union, the financial discipline mechanism which is implemented by the Member States involves a monetary deduction (1.4% for the 2018 reduction) from some direct payments thereby creating a financial Crisis Reserve for the European Union. The crisis reserve is intended to provide additional support for the agricultural sector in the case of major crises affecting agricultural production or distribution. In the event that the Crisis Reserve is not activated in the financial year, or it is not fully utilised, the balance not used is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year, hence this reimbursement.
Government approves phasing out of Fur Farming
The Cabinet has today (Tuesday) agreed to the phased dis-establishment of fur farming in Ireland.
Commenting on the Government decision, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. said that “There has been considerable international and societal debate about fur farming. While the Department has strengthened its controls over the sector in recent years, it is clear that there has been a shift in societal expectations in relation to the sector and recent Veterinary evidence suggests that the farming of mink is counter to good animal welfare. Taking these considerations into account, it is considered timely to commence the phasing out of the industry in Ireland.”
The Government will now proceed to bring forward a Bill which will be drafted in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office. The Government Bill will provide for a phased basis for the ban for existing operators.
Minister Creed went on to say “The Government Bill will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established. Phase out arrangements will be put in place for the small number of current operators to allow for an orderly wind down of the sector and to allow time for employees to find alternative opportunities.”
While a number of European countries have banned fur farming, the approach has generally been to allow a phase out period over a number of years.
There are currently three mink fur farms operating in counties Donegal, Laois and Kerry these are seen as large farms producing approximately 110,000 pelts per annum. The number of farms reduced from 4 to 3 in 2014.
In 2011, a Review Group was established to examine all aspects of fur farming in Ireland. It examined the industry from all relevant aspects and did not recommend banning the industry. On foot of the Report, that was published in 2012, DAFM introduced more rigorous controls on fur farms in the areas of animal welfare, accommodation, security and nutrient management. Fur farms became subject to regular inspection