Tuesday, 15 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
240. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the date an application for an area aid number by a person, details supplied, in County Kildare was received; when a decision will be made; if he has satisfied himself with the time period of the assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13900/01]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): All area aid applications are processed by reference to herd numbers. When lodged in the Department area aid applications are first scanned on to a document retrieval system and they are then data captured and registered. When farmers lodge an area aid application for the first time it is necessary for control purposes that the applicant's holding be inspected prior to issuing a new herdnumber. It takes some time for all inspections to be completed.
This year as an emergency measure it has been necessary for my Department to redeploy staff to foot and mouth duties and as a consequence it is difficult to state precisely when inspections will be completed. Nevertheless, I will keep the matter under continuous review so that herdnumbers can be issued as quickly as possible. It is also my intention to ensure that all payments, except where there are problems, are made on time in accordance with the protocol on direct payments to farmers.
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