Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
1070. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 200 of 7 March 2012, if he will explain what he means by horse breeding enterprises being eligible for stocking density purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17648/12]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): It will be recalled that, on foot of commitments given in the 2012 Budget, significant savings needed to be found in my Department’s expenditure for 2012, part of which it was decided should come from the funding assigned to the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. However, rather that simply apply an across the board cut to the rates payable or reduce the maximum payable area, I decided that real efforts should be made to focus the Scheme on those farmers who are most actively contributing to achieving the aims of the Scheme, namely, ensuring continued agricultural land use, thereby contributing to the maintenance of viable rural communities, maintaining the countryside and maintaining and promoting sustainable farming systems, which take account of environmental protection measures.
While horses will no longer be eligible for the stocking density calculation, equine breeding enterprises will continue to be eligible on the basis of the contribution they make to the local economy. Equine breeding enterprises are defined as follows: an applicant must, in the first instance, be an equine (horse/donkey) breeder and have bred a foal, from a mare registered as on the applicant’s holding in 2011, in either 2009, 2010 or 2011, which was registered in a Stud Book approved by my Department, with pedigree recorded (sire and dam). Furthermore, the premises of all who meet this criteria must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, in accordance with S.I. No. 8 of 2012, Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Registration of Horse Premises) Order 2012.
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