Yates, Ivan

Wednesday, 26 March 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 477 No. 1

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Priority Questions. - Leader II Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the calls made by Leader group spokespersons who have looked for an investigation into the awarding of the tender to administer the Leader II national network arrangemen...More Button

Priority Questions. - Green Pound Revaluations.

Was asked: whether he will provide pound for pound from Exchequer funds to match the EU aid in respect of the recent green pound revaluations as provided for in EU regulations; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

At the Council of Ministers' meeting on 17-19 March I secured agreement to the payment in 1997 of EU funded compensatory aid of some £45.77 million to producers in the milk, beef, cereals and sugar se...More Button

I state categorically that I have never been in a position to give such an undertaking and am unaware the IFA holds such a view. I am monitoring other member states which also have the opportunity to...More Button

I am glad the Deputy raised the question of my deportment because a Sunday newspaper article was brought to my attention on Monday. The author of the article did not contact me and was not present in...More Button

I was so intrigued by the newspaper report that I checked with my information officer who informed me he was also surprised by it. He confirmed my recollection of events which were not in keeping wit...More Button

I know the Deputy would not believe me. My relationship with Commissioner Fischler is excellent and that will stand farmers in good stead.More Button

He is bigger than I am. I could not physically do it if I wanted to. I am not in a position to state that matching Exchequer funds will be forthcoming now but I am monitoring the situation carefull...More Button

Priority Questions. - Bureau Veritas Certificates.

Was asked: if he will make a formal complaint to the fraud squad of the Garda Síochána regarding the Bureau Veritas certificates which purported to show the import of Irish beef into Iraq; and if not, the reason...More Button

The Deputy seems to be referring to the apparent addition of dates of shipment on some Bureau Veritas certificates. These dates were cross-checked and verified against certification provided directly...More Button

On the issue of the beef on the Canary Islands, the export refund for that has not been finalised and is under investigation and I answer that in detail in Question No. 21 on today's Order Paper. The...More Button

The matter was raised by Deputy O'Malley in relation to one certificate, No. 1093, the signature to which had been authenticated by the Irish Ambassador to Iraq. It was not signed by T. Gurney but by...More Button

Some of these questions which I am not trying to evade enter into a realm of detail. If the Deputy is alleging this beef, based on the Bureau Veritas certificates, did not end up in Iraq, I am extrem...More Button

As regards the files that are closed and those that are open, it is the case that as Minister I authorised the release and the largest forfeiture ever in relation to many of these papers. There was a ...More Button

Priority Questions. - Specified Risk Material Special Levy.

Was asked: the steps, if any, he is taking to eliminate the special levy introduced by factories for the disposal of specified risk material.More Button

Was asked: the action if any, he proposes to take to prevent meat factories from imposing levies on bovine animals and sheep in order to cover the costs of complying with regulations regarding specified risk mat...More Button

Was asked: the action, if any, he has taken during the two weeks prior to 17 March 1997 to ensure that a service is available to farmers in County Clare at reasonable cost to remove dead animals from their farms...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has for the incineration of specified risk material of animal carcases; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the implications for farmers and the meat industry of the recent decision by the Cavan County Manager to require a company (details supplied) to make an application for ...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has for the safe storage and disposal of specified risk material.More Button

Was asked: the, if any, he is taking to eliminate the special levy introduced by factories for the disposal of specified risk material.More Button

Was asked: if he will publish the two reports prepared for Government on the disposal of slaughterhouse waste.More Button

Was asked: the action, if any, he proposes to take to ensure that the carcases of dead farm animals are disposed of safely in order not to pose any threat to the environment or to human health; and if he will ma...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the extreme difficulties being experienced by the farming community in County Louth in relation to the disposal of carcases which in recent times has been made much ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8, 13, 19, 33, 43, 46, 50, 54, 75 and 218 together. Since the introduction of the Diseases of Animals (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) (Specified Risk Material) Orde...More Button

The question of financial assistance and the £3 per head levy concerns me greatly. There was no choice but to put in place a specified risk material ban because we were not able to export. We introdu...More Button

The rendered product from the specified material is being stored separately pending arrangements for its final disposal by the firm involved in the dedicated plant in County Cavan. No definitive deci...More Button

There are two issues involved. First is the specified risk material. Second is the EU directive whereby each member state, from 1 April, must heat treat all manufactured meat and bone meal to 133 de...More Button

There is a common ownership of both and that is why we have been involved in discussions. The SRM only arises in one dedicated rendering plant. The Deputy has spoken of the £220 charged in Ireland a...More Button

We have had an application from Cashel, County Tipperary, from a renderer who wishes to establish a dedicated plant. I am considering this application. The difficulty is that we produce approximatel...More Button

I have been concerned about the knackeries. This is why we negotiated the £220 per tonne charged by Monery for ordinary skulls, spleen and SRM. This is only £30 per tonne in the case of the knackers...More Button

The system that had been working very well has been changed by Europe, we simply cannot continue——More Button

Obviously, Deputy Byrne does not want to hear the answer.More Button

Deputy Byrne knows well that the answer will be an adequate response. First, we have a £1.7 billion beef industry. We could be faced with circumstances similar to those in another member state if Eu...More Button

The only way that could be changed was by the introduction of this specified risk material order — that is all a fact of life — that is what has changed.More Button

I happened to look at the small advertisements in yesterday's newspapers——More Button

——and, under dead and fallen animals, I noticed that a number of knackeries are still advertising, saying one should contact a certain telephone number if one had dead or fallen animals. Obviously th...More Button

——putting that industry on a proper footing. If Deputy Hugh Byrne is condoning this practice — simply because he blames me politically for dumping dead animals around the country——More Button

——that is reprehensible and irresponsible of him, he should be giving the clearest possible signal that that type of activity damages the good name of the many responsible farmers, who would never con...More Button

That is irresponsible and outrageous advice to farmers — to dump their animals at crossroads, throw them into ditches. I am shocked and disgusted at the Deputy's attitude. (Interruptions.)More Button

I will be quite happy for the people of Wexford to pass judgment on Deputy Byrne and me in due course.More Button

Priority Questions. - Cattle and Beef Exports.

Was asked: the current status of third country markets for cattle and beef exports from Ireland and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

While a small number of third countries have imposed restrictions on the import of cattle and beef from Ireland, we are trading normally on a wide range of international markets. Strenuous efforts are...More Button

The Deputy will be uniquely aware that when we had no cases of BSE in 1990, Ireland was banned from many of those North African countries and related countries for three years. During his tenure and ...More Button

That is a separate question. Obviously I am concerned about the competitiveness of Irish and European beef against Australian and South American customers. The decision of the Commission yesterday t...More Button

We accept all comments here. It was found to be more cost effective to transfer some Garda activity, which led to costly overtime, with Army personnel. The checks have also been made mobile. This m...More Button

My policy on the live trade is as follows. It is essential, given that we produce the equivalent of 550,000 tonnes of beef and consume about 50,000 tonnes, that there be adequate competition between ...More Button

I do not have the figures to hand. My recollection——More Button

They are. I just do not have them in my files. A figure of 377,000 comes to mind.More Button

The figure increased in 1995. In 1996 a number of factors, not least the reduction in refunds, changed the situation. The particular difficulty with the live trade is that what we are doing with the...More Button

I will make a few points in the midst of the crossfire. Some Deputies wish to highlight the live export figures for 1994 and 1995. In 1990 and 1991 there were no live exports. We can all pick a yea...More Button

The Deputy forgets the price.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions (Resumed). - Rural Development.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to introduce a tax incentive scheme similar to BES or urban renewal to encourage investors to become involved in rural development; the discussions, if any, he has had with t...More Button

Written Answers. - Green Pound Revaluations.

Was asked: if the Government will give national funds to top up the EU compensation package.More Button

Was asked: whether he will provide pound for pound from Exchequer funds to match the EU aid in respect of the recent green pound revaluations as provided for in EU regulations; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to maintain the incomes of dairy, grain and sugar beet farmers affected by revaluations of the Green currency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to provide national funding to match the recently announced European Union agri-monetary aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11, 20, 64 and 224 together. I refer the Deputies to my reply to Question No. 6.More Button

Written Answers. - Area Aid Application Forms.

Was asked: the reason for the delay in distributing area aid application forms; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There has been a delay in issuing area aid application forms for 1997. The issue of application forms, with a helpsheet and terms and conditions to farmers who have previously submitted an area aid a...More Button

Written Answers. - Consultancy Fees.

Was asked: the total payment made to a consultancy company (details supplied) for work carried out by it for An Bord Bia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In responding to this question, I want to make it clear that the engagement of consultants is a function of the day-to-day activities of An Bord Bia in relation to which the board and management of th...More Button

Was asked: the number of prosecutions in respect of the use of illegal growth promoters in each of the years from 1992 to 1997; the number of cases in which convictions were secured in each of those years; his v...More Button

Details of prosecutions relating to illegal growth promoters which have been dealt with by the courts in the period 1992 to 1997 are set out in the following statement. The penalties for use of illega...More Button

Written Answers. - Third Country Markets.

Was asked: the current status of third country markets for cattle and beef exports from Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress, if any, he has made in lifting the ban on live exports to Libya.More Button

Was asked: the reason no carcass beef has been exported to Egypt since the recent visit of the Egyptian veterinary delegation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress, if any, he has made with the Russian authorities regarding the lifting of the eight-county ban on beef imports from Ireland which is due for review in May 1997.More Button

Was asked: when the ban on live cattle exports to Egypt and Lybia will be lifted; and if he will make a statement on his efforts to restore these valuable markets.More Button

Was asked: the third country beef markets, if any, he has visited in the past 12 months.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns in counties Cavan and Monaghan in relation to the Russian beef ban; the progress, if any, he has made in having this decision reversed; and if he will m...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 17, 27, 36, 38, 62 and 226 together. In general this country is trading normally in cattle and beef on a wide range of international markets although a number of c...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Promotion Funding.

Was asked: the extra funds, if any, he has provided for beef promotion since the start of the BSE crisis.More Button

Statutory responsibility for the promotion of Irish food, including beef, is vested in An Bord Bia. To assist it in carrying out that function the board receives an annual grant-in-aid from the Exche...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Exports.

Was asked: the reason Irish beef that was purportedly exported to Iraq in 1988 is still held in the Canary Islands, Spain where it is the subject of police investigation; whether export refunds were paid on this...More Button

A quantity of beef which had been exported to Iraq in 1988 was diverted to the Canary Islands following rejection by the Iraqi authorities. This diversion was notified to my Department at the time a...More Button

Written Answers. - Control of Animal Diseases.

Was asked: if he will designate a single port where imported livestock will be assured of a thorough veterinary examination and thereby reduce the possibility of contagious diseases being transmitted; and if he ...More Button

Was asked: the strategy, if any, he is taking and the future plans, if any, he proposes to prevent the importation of animal diseases into Ireland; his views on whether legislation has failed to control such dis...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the erosion of the disease-free status of our farm livestock as a result of the Single European Act; and the steps, if any, he intends to take to address the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22, 59 and 79 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Prices.

Was asked: if he will instruct beef factories to quote prices ex-VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My main concern in relation to the price quotation system used by beef factories is to ensure that the system is transparent and does not mislead producers. In general, the position is that factories...More Button

Written Answers. - BSE Compensation.

Was asked: the EU source and the dates of Commission agreement approving payment of BSE compensation and revaluation compensation.More Button

The £30 million BSE compensation package was negotiated under the Irish Presidency and the relevant council regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 17 December...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the 1996 premium and headage payments still outstanding on 15 March 1997; when he proposes to pay the outstanding sums to farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The position is that to date over £657 million has been paid to farmers under the various 1996 headage and premia schemes. These are recorded payment levels under these schemes at this time of year. ...More Button

Was asked: the current position in relation to the Kearney report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the current position in relation to the proposal to reduce the ceiling of headage premia; and his views on the implications, if any, of this reduction for the thousands of farmers who are slightly ove...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 26 and 49 together. Since my detailed reply of 29 January to the Deputy on the current position as regards the Kearney report (including the imposition of the £3,000 c...More Button

Written Answers. - Leader II Programme.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on the calls made by Leader group spokespersons who have looked for an investigation into the awarding of the tender to administer the Leader II national network arrangemen...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to parliamentary Question No. 5 on today's Order Paper.More Button

Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Was asked: the discussions, if any, he or officials at his Department have had with their counterparts in the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht in relation to farming practices in special areas of co...More Button

The Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, in conjunction with my Department, as well as the relevant farming and environmental interests have agreed farming conditions for the majority of hab...More Button

Written Answers. - Calf Registration Scheme.

Was asked: when the calf registration scheme will be fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The new calf tagging and registration arrangements were introduced in Ireland in 1996 and are now fully operational. The arrangements to apply from 1998 onwards are under review.More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the number of farmers in Connemara, west of the Corrib and Galway city, participating in the de-stocking measures under the REP scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of farmers in Connemara, west of the Corrib and Galway city, participating in the REP scheme.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 66 together. It is estimated that 595 farmers in Connemara have been approved for payment under the scheme. A further 61 applications have been received from f...More Button

Written Answers. - Meat Inspection Service.

Was asked: the consultancy studies, if any, which were carried out under the Strategic Management Initiative on the meat inspection service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the progress, if any, which has been made regarding his commitment to introduce full-cost recovery at individual meat plants of the meat hygiene inspection service; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 70 together. A consultancy study of my Department's meat inspection service was carried out to establish how best this service can be provided, to quantify the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Aid.

Was asked: the current position of an application for grant aid for investments by a company (details supplied) in County Roscommon where a £1 million investment is on offer.More Button

Was asked: the current position of an application for grant aid for investments by a company (details supplied) in County Roscommon, where a £1 million investment is on offer.More Button

I propose taking Questions Nos. 34 and 76 together. The company named has made application for assistance under the scheme of grant aid for investments in commercial horticulture under the Operational...More Button

Written Answers. - Potato Industry.

Was asked: the measures, if any, he proposes to take to alleviate the serious crisis in the potato industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A significant increase last year in the area under potatoes, combined with improved yields, resulted in a level of production in excess of domestic requirements. The surplus production, for which the...More Button

Written Answers. - FEOGA Funds.

Was asked: if he has undertaken that the funds for Feoga payments of approximately £1.4 billion per annum, which pass through his Department pending recoupment from Brussels and which leads to an annual borrowin...More Button

In April 1996, the Comptroller and Auditor General published a Value for Money Report on the borrowing activities of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry for FEOGA purposes. While the rep...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of payments made in respect of headage, premia and arable aid payments in 1996; the number who received payments over £100,000; if he will give comparative figures for 1990; and if he will ...More Button

The number of payments made in 1996 under the various headage and premia schemes was 1,010,092. This includes balancing payments under 1995 and earlier years' schemes as well as payments made under t...More Button

Written Answers. - Control of Farmyard Pollution.

Was asked: the reason his Department is no longer accepting applications in respect of farm buildings from small farmers who are not in the REP scheme.More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to lift the suspension of the control of farmyard pollution scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 208 together. Due to the funding limitations within the Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry the scheme for the control of farm...More Button

Written Answers. - Cruelty to Animals.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to cruelty to animals in animal field sport activities, in particular hare coursing; his views on the fact that the Protection of Animals Act, 1911 does not adequately ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the training of greyhounds in Ireland by blooding; if his attention has been drawn to the cruelty to animals in this regard, such as cruelty to hares and rabbits by certain forms of cours...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 202 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Cavan Plant Reopening.

Was asked: the progress, if any, made to date by his Department or the industrial development agencies in assisting the reopening of a factory (details supplied) in County Cavan; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to restore the pig slaughtering capacity in the Border region to its previous level; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 53 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of farmers who received payments in respect of setaside in the categories of £1,000 to £10,000, £10,000 to £20,000, £20,000 to £30,000, £30,000 to £40,000, £40,000 to £50,000 and £50,000 pl...More Button

As part of the measures introduced under the CAP reform, a system of compensatory payments for arable crop producers was introduced in 1993. The system involves arrangements requiring farmers applyin...More Button

Written Answers. - Meat Inspection Service.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on his Department's supervisory costs for deboning; and his views on its relative value for money.More Button

As part of the meat inspection service, my Department carries out the supervision of deboning operations in export approved meat plants, at a cost of approximately £1.5 million, of which close to £1 ...More Button

Written Answers. - National Beef Assurance Scheme.

Was asked: the estimated cost of introducing the proposed beef quality assurance scheme; the way this cost will be funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The proposed national beef assurance scheme is a very large undertaking requiring significant resources in the area of technology, communications, administration, certification, testing, etc., and wil...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in introducing the beef quality assurance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the context of Partnership 2000, the Government has agreed to develop, in consultation with interested parties, a national beef assurance scheme during 1997 with a view to full implementation by sp...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Beef Exports.

Was asked: the reports, if any, he has received on the impact on South Africa of subsidised EU beef exports; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have received two reports from Trócaire on the impact of subsidised EU beef exports on the South African economy. One report by the European Research Office is a summary of statistical data and the...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Feedstuffs.

Was asked: the names of feed compounders found to have meat and bonemeal included in bovine rations; the way bovine rations can be unambiguously distinguished from pig and poultry feeds; the types of rations in ...More Button

The inclusion of ruminant meat and bonemeal in animal feed destined for ruminant animals has been prohibited in Ireland since 1990. The testing for the presence of such meat and bonemeal in ruminant ...More Button

Written Answers. - Seed Potato Industry.

Was asked: the initiatives, if any, he has taken to stimulate development of the seed potato industry since he took office; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry 1994-1999 provides financial aid to the seed potato sector under two separate schemes, the producer group scheme and investmen...More Button

Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

Was asked: if he will seek the reclassification of land from severely to more severely disadvantaged within County Kerry.More Button

A submission to establish a new category of extremely disadvantaged areas in Ireland was formally presented to the Commission on 9 October 1996. The criteria established to facilitate selection of ar...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the progress, if any, that has been made on identifying the source of transmission for bovine tuberculosis; the annual moneys spent since 1990 on the programmes to eradicate bovine tuberculosis and br...More Button

Epidemiological investigation of confirmed disease outbreaks indicates that breakdowns are attributable either to bought-in cattle, reactivation of the disease in animals exposed at an early stage in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Bureau Veritas Certificates.

Was asked: if he will re-examine the whole question of securities for export refunds which were released by him or by Government decision in each of the years from 1988 to date in 1997 and seek to recover from t...More Button

The vast majority of Bureau Veritas certificates submitted to my Department in support of export refund claims covered beef exported to Iraq in the period August 1988 to December 1989. These certific...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to pay the additional £6.60 which was cut from ewe premia.More Button

The level of the ewe premium in any year is determined by the average prices paid in the EU markets for that year. During 1996, both the EU and Irish market prices for lamb were at record levels from...More Button

Written Answers. - Organic Farming.

Was asked: whether the commitment given by his Minister of State to hold a major conference on organic farming in Spring 1997 will be honoured; and if so, the date and venue for such a conference.More Button

An Organic Farming Symposium is scheduled to take place in Portlaoise on 25 April 1997. The programme for the symposium is being finalised at present.More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the number of farmers who benefited from the REP scheme in 1996; the average amount involved in each case; the number, if any, of cases in which works were found not to have been carried out in the re...More Button

Payments were approved in the REP scheme in 1996 in respect of over 18,200 cases. This figure consists of some 13,200 newly approved fist year participants, almost 5,000 second year participants and s...More Button

Written Answers. - Purebred Deer.

Was asked: the number of purebred deer which have been registered in Ireland; the body which is responsible for registering purebred deer; the body which issues certificates for purebred deer; and if he will mak...More Button

Was asked: the number of purebred deer which have been registered in Ireland; the body which is responsible for registering purebred deer; the body which issues the certificates for purebred deer; and if he will...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 231 together. My Department has no responsibility for the registering of purebred deer, nor is there any organisation affiliated to the Department which is char...More Button

Written Answers. - Poultry Industry.

Was asked: the proposals, if any, he has to ensure that County Monaghan is self-sufficient in production of chicks for the broiler industry in view of the inherent danger of importing disease.More Button

There are three EU approved poultry processing plants in County Monaghan. One of these plants processes broilers and I understand that production from that firm's hatchery is more than sufficient to m...More Button

Written Answers. - Food Safety Board.

Was asked: if discussions have taken place between his Department and the Department of Health regarding the staffing and legislative provisions for the new Food Safety Board; if so, if he will give a full repor...More Button

As I indicated in response to a similar question last December, the primary function of the new Food Safety Board will be to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the controls and procedures in plac...More Button

Written Answers. - Pesticide Levels in Foods.

Was asked: the staff resources within his Department's residue laboratory devoted to testing of food stuffs for the presence of pesticide; the percentage of the total pesticides on the Irish market for which min...More Button

There are 19 staff currently employed in my Department's pesticide control service, of which 5.2 staff equivalent are exclusively engaged in monitoring pesticide residues. Plans are at an advanced sta...More Button

Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: if he was consulted regarding the introduction of planning guidelines and regulations for new forestry plantations; if so, the nature of such consultations; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I take it the Deputy is referring to the draft forestry development guidelines for planning authorities, which were issued as a consultation draft by the Department of the Environment in January 1997 ...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: whether the once-off installation aid for young farmers will be available after 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The scheme of installation aid for young farmers continues in operation. As with all measures operated under the Operational Programme for Agriculture, Rural Development and Forestry and other operat...More Button

Written Answers. - Labelling of Beef.

Was asked: the way in which he and his Department have responded to proposals from the EU Commission to introduce compulsory labelling of beef; if he intends to introduce compulsory labelling and traceability in...More Button

The Commission's proposals for an optional labelling system for beef were submitted to the Council last October. Following the delivery of the opinion of the European Parliament last month, the Commi...More Button

Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the substantial decline in tree planting since the start of 1997; and the steps, if any, he is taking to redress this problem.More Button

Based on the level of planting approvals issued, the level of planting this spring may be down by about 10 per cent on the corresponding period last year. It is too early at this stage to determine w...More Button

Written Answers. - Brucellosis Testing.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to recent comments by members of the Irish Veterinary Union that the current brucellosis blood test is only fully accurate 21 days after calving; and if he will make a ...More Button

I am aware of the recent comments by members of the Irish Veterinary Union. The position is that in a small number of cases blood samples taken from animals in advanced stages of pregnancy may not gi...More Button

Written Answers. - Area Aid Payments.

Was asked: the measures, if any, he proposes to take to maintain area aid payments to cereal and oil seed farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 267 on 11 March 1997, I opposed the EU Commission's proposal last year to cut arable aid payments in the context of the beef crisis. It is my int...More Button

Written Answers. - Hoticulture Industry.

Was asked: the measures, if any, he proposes to take to assist the horticulture industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Member states are precluded by EU rules of competition from assisting the horticulture industry from State funds. However, horticulture qualifies for assistance under the Scheme of Grant-Aid for Inve...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is as follows. The latest month for which data is available is October 1996. Imports of cut flowers, household and ornamental plants.More Button

Written Answers. - Butter Voucher Scheme.

Was asked: the position regarding the butter vouchers allowable to old age pensioners; the reason his Department found it necessary to change the butter entitlement for old age pensioners from £2 per month to £1...More Button

This measure is fully funded by the European Union without any national Exchequer contribution. Ireland is the only member state operating the scheme. Since 1988, EU legislation requires the Commiss...More Button

Written Answers. - Forestry Plantations.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to improve the system of monitoring of plantation maintenance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

To date, the monitoring and control system for forestry plantations has operated satisfactorily and like any such system is subject to continual review. Plantations are subject to inspection at the p...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to re-introduce vaccination against brucellosis in view of the current trend of breakdowns in counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

I have no plans at this stage to re-introduce vaccination against Brucellosis. However, the situation in the south west is currently the subject of discussions between my Department and the main farmi...More Button

Written Answers. - Farm Incomes.

Was asked: the average proportion of farming income derived from grants and subsidies in each of the years from 1992 to date in 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Extimates of the aggregate farm income, that is income from self-employment and other trading income, are available for each of the years 1992-96. These are measured by the CSO in its estimates of ag...More Button

Written Answers. - Community Support Framework.

Was asked: his views on the adjustments, if any, which will be made to agricultural spending under the structural funds in view of the forthcoming mid-term review of the funds; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Under the Community Support Framework for Ireland, 1994-99, and the nine operational programmes are now being reviewed at the mid-term stage. The reviews remain confidential as the recommendations ma...More Button

Written Answers. - Live Cattle Exports.

Was asked: the current level of exports of live cattle; the new and additional incentives, if any, there are to encourage the slaughter of animals in Ireland; if he will give a breakdown of live cattle and slaug...More Button

Was asked: the number of cattle slaughtered in Ireland in each of the years from 1991 to 1996; his views on the potential market for such products; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the incentives, if any, he has considered to encourage job opportunities in cattle slaughtering; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201, 212 and 217 together. The level of exports of live cattle up to the week ending 9 March 1997 was 10,748 head. Since the beginning of the year there have been no...More Button

Written Answers. - Tillage Crops.

Was asked: if he has had investigations made into the possibilities for industrial outlets for tillage crops.More Button

Teagasc, the body responsible for research in agriculture and food, is examining the potential for producing tillage crops for non-food purposes. This would include, for instance, the production of b...More Button

Written Answers. - Fertiliser Tests.

Was asked: the number of fertiliser samples taken in the last year for which records are available; the number found deficient; and the action, if any, taken in this regard.More Button

Some 495 official samples were analysed in the year ended 30 September 1996 and 66 did not meet all the statutory standards. It should be noted however that the results in the majority of the failure...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Carcase Regulations.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on meat slaughter plants paying a flat rate for beef which in the long-term could affect quality and carcase formation if quality beef is not reflected in price paid.More Button

Under the European Communities Beef Carcase Classification Regulations the processor is obliged to give the vendor full details of the weight, carcase classification and other characteristics on the p...More Button

Written Answers. - Animal Feedstuffs.

Was asked: if he will introduce regulations banning the transport of pig feed in containers simultaneously used for the transporting of bulk feed for bovine livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

The order which I made last October to strengthen the controls on meat and bone meal requires that those who store or transport meat and bone meal or any animal feed containing meat and bone meal must...More Button

Written Answers. - Control of Farmyard Pollution.

Was asked: the number of applications received to date from County Cavan under the control of farmyard pollution scheme, the dairy hygiene scheme and the REP scheme; the number of approvals issued; the number of...More Button

I have set out below the information requested by the Deputy.More Button

Written Answers. - Tuberculosis Testing.

Was asked: the number of cattle tested positive for tuberculosis in 1996; the actual number of cattle that had tuberculosis present in post mortem tests; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The number of tuberculosis reactors removed in 1996 was 30,400, 30 per cent of which revealed visible lesions on routine post mortem analysis. The tuberculin test is the EU test for determining TB; t...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the total moneys paid to herdowners by way of tuberculosis-related subventions and grants for each of the years from 1990 to 1996.More Button

Details of exact expenditure on tuberculosis related grants for the period prior to 1993 are not readily available. The following data details (a) the total grants paid to herdowners under both the b...More Button

Written Answers. - Beef Tribunal Payments.

Was asked: if he will give details of all legal and legal support personnel involved in the beef tribunal; and if he will list the persons they represented.More Button

Was asked: the professional legal personnel who participated and have been paid fees for their input in the beef tribunal; the amounts paid in the top 20 highest value payments; the names of those who received t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 211 and 214 together. A full list of all the legal personnel and the persons they represented was published in the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Beef Pro...More Button

Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself with regulations and controls in the forestry sector; if he will give details of the development of forestry in Ireland over the past ten years; the likely further developm...More Button

The regulations and controls on forestry development are regularly reviewed to ensure the optimum development of the sector. I would refer the Deputy for example to the review last year of forestry,...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: the current considerations, if any, there are in relation to the tuberculosis and brucellosis eradication programmes; the issues, if any, which have been brought to his attention in this regard; the n...More Button

The 1997 bovine tuberculosis eradication programme which commenced on 17 March 1997 will operate on similar lines to the 1996 programme. The programme will include a full monitor of the national herd...More Button

Was asked: the number of recorded cases of bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis since 1986; the number of animals by county which have been slaughtered for each of the years from 1986 to date in 1997 due to testi...More Button

The number of recorded cases of bovine TB and brucellosis on a national basis for each year since 1986 is shown in the following table. The other information requested by the Deputy is not readily av...More Button

Written Answers. - Land Purchase.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to any policy being pursued by other EU countries such as Denmark and Holland in relation to non-nationals purchasing tracts of land; if there is any distinction betwee...More Button

As the formulation of policy relating to the general ownership and purchase of land in EU countries is essentially a matter for the relevant national authority in each country, the policies pursued wi...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if payment for a brucellosis top-up grant based on milk produced in 1996 will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.More Button

Brucellosis reactors were disclosed in the herd of the herdowner referred to by the Deputy on an ongoing basis from May 1996 leading to depopulation of his herd in mid-October 1996. Under current gra...More Button

Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the disquiet among a large group of professional and qualified people who attended a REP scheme course which was organised by his Department in mid-February 1997, in...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 244 on 5 March.More Button

Written Answers. - Economic and Monetary Union.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to develop a specific trade strategy to help exporters in the food industry to cope with changes under EMU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the analyses, if any, which have taken place in relation to the export of food products in the event of the establishment of the single currency; and his views on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 225 and 236 together. In November 1995 my colleague the Minister for Finance, at the request of the Government commissioned a study of the likely economic implications...More Button

Written Answers. - Bovine Diseases.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the widespread concern in relation to the additional costs imposed on farmers where a tuberculosis or brucellosis test has to be carried out before the normal round ...More Button

Under the revised disease eradication arrangements agreed which were introduced from 1 April 1996 payment in respect of first tests on herds in each calendar year is generally the responsibility of he...More Button

Written Answers. - Forestry Sector Report.

Was asked: the total cost of the report on the forestry sector prepared by a company (details supplied) and if he will publish the report as promised in reply to Parliamentary Questions on 20 June 1995.More Button

The total cost of the report prepared by Jaakko Poyry and Deloitte and Touche to assist me in the preparation of the Strategic Plan for the Development of the Forestry Sector in Ireland was £205,831. ...More Button

Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas.

Was asked: if the criteria for designation as a very severely disadvantaged area have been finalised; whether proposals have been submitted to the European Commission; the parts of County Cavan which will receiv...More Button

A submission to establish a new category of extremely disadvantaged areas in Ireland was formally presented to the EU Commission on 9 October 1996. The criteria established to facilitate selection of...More Button

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when payment of extensification grants will be made.More Button

Was asked: when the balance of premia for suckler cows and beef will be paid.More Button

The position is that payment of balancing amounts under the 1996 special beef premium and suckler cow premium commenced on 19 and 20 February 1997 respectively. To date some 65 per cent of suckler co...More Button

Written Answers. - Newcastle Disease.

Was asked: the steps, if any, his Department has taken to protect the Irish poultry industry from the effects of Newcastle Disease outbreaks in Northern Ireland.More Button

There are currently 23 confirmed outbreaks of Newcastle Disease in poultry in Northern Ireland. The measures taken by my Department to safeguard against the introduction of this disease were outlined...More Button


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