332. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has received a notification from the Impact trade union, in relation to a retired Department of Agriculture official (details supplied); if he will re-examine the files pertaining to this case given that the ex-official has discontinued all legal proceedings due to lack of resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33005/15 asked on 29 Sep 2015 - Legal Matters)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The former DAFM official retired from my Department during 2006. The issues raised by this former official date back over some 20 years or more and were the subject of High Court action commenced in 2006. These proceedings were struck out in 2013 due to the lengthy delay in initiating proceeding and failure to abide by Court deadlines. Under these circumstances I do not intend to re-examine these matters.
 ...

498. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide, in tabular form, in respect of the past ten years and of 2015 to date the total number of employees, full-time and part-time, at the Irish Greyhound Board; the total wage bill for each year; the exact date that the Irish Greyhound Board accounts for 2013 and 2014 will be made public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22479/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Bord na gCon Staff)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The information requested by the Deputy can be found in the Bord na gCon accounts which are available on the Bord na gCon website.
The 2013 annual report and accounts for Bord na gCon have been noted by Government and laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas and will be published shortly by Bord na gCon.
Bord na gCon have informed me that the 2014 annual report and accounts are currently subject to audit by the Comptroller an...

77. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the ministerial transport costs for the years 2010 to 2013, inclusive, for each Minister and Minister of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44883/14 asked on 19 Nov 2014 - Ministerial Transport)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The ministerial transport costs paid by my Department in respect of the Ministers and Ministers of State in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 are set out in the table.
The costs include travel expenses for use of the Minister of States’ private cars for each year, the use of my private car since March 2011 and pay and subsistence costs associated with staff employed as drivers of the Ministers’ private cars.
The system for t...

93. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a single farm payment will be issued in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40753/14 asked on 23 Oct 2014 - Single Payment Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Processing of the Single Farm Payment application of the person named has recently been finalised, with payment due to issue shortly, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named. 
 ...

651. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cases that have been prosecuted on indictment for animal cruelty; the number of sentences of imprisonment that have been imposed for the mistreatment of animals in the past five years; the average fine imposed upon conviction in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18920/14 asked on 30 Apr 2014 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The main statutes governing cruelty to animals until recently was the Protection of Animals Act, 1911 and Protection of Animals (amendment) Act, 1965 and responsibility for pursuing complaints under that legislation rested with An Garda Síochána. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which I commenced recently, has replaced the aforementioned legislation and authorised officers of my Department and local authorities, togethe...

77. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide in tabular form, details of the number of hectares applied for under the single payment scheme in each year since 2006; the number of hectares deemed ineligible each year; the number of farmers who applied each year; the number who had land declared ineligible each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39538/13 asked on 24 Sep 2013 - Single Payment Scheme Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Payments under the Single Payment Scheme may be made only in respect of eligible land and applicants under the Scheme are obliged annually to declare the land parcels available to them. Details of the eligible area of the land parcels are recorded on the Department’s Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS). Details of the use and area claimed for each of some 900,000 eligible land parcels on the LPIS system are registered a...

84. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to introduce a slaughter premium for horses as a temporary measure to reduce the number of unwanted horses in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39543/13 asked on 24 Sep 2013 - Animal Welfare Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 71 and 84 together. 
I am aware that various interests in the sector, including some animal welfare organisations, have called for measures to be introduced by my Department to deal with surplus horses. While it is the responsibility of horse owners to ensure the welfare of horses in their ownership and/or their care and to dispose of them appropriately, my Department is consulting with releva...

13. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the maximum size of farm approved for the agri-environment option scheme 3; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29358/13 asked on 19 Jun 2013 - Agri-Environment Options Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Despite the challenging budgetary constraints facing my Department, last year I allocated €20 million annually to fund the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and re-opened the scheme to new applicants (AEOS 111). AEOS III will build on the success of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and both AEOS 1 and 2 in delivering an annual payment to farmers in return for farming to high environmental standards. 
I deci...

21. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applicants for the suckler cow welfare scheme last year who had penalties imposed on them; the number who had a 100% penalty imposed; the total number of applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29350/13 asked on 19 Jun 2013 - Suckler Welfare Scheme Application Numbers)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme was a five-year programme for beef breed animals which were born during the period 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012. This Scheme was fully funded by the Exchequer. Over the five year duration of the Scheme, in excess of €155 million has already been delivered in support to suckler cow farmers. The Scheme has made an important contribution to improving the genetic quality of the national suc...

16. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers that were written to in relation to their 2012 disadvantaged payments under the stocking density rule; the number that have been refused a derogation, including after appeal, broken down by county; the number of cases still to be decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21480/13 asked on 08 May 2013 - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Payments under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced, on target, on 26 September 2012 and, to date, payments worth in excess of €207 million have issued to 94,671 of the total of 102,072 who applied. In any event, as demonstrated below, no undue delay currently exists in processing cases and payments continue to issue twice weekly, as individual cases are confirmed eligible. 
A major factor impacting on processing of...

44. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the steps he has taken to ensure that liquid milk producers get an adequate price for their product to ensure long term viability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21500/13 asked on 08 May 2013 - Milk Price Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The regulation of milk for liquid consumption is a matter for the National Milk Agency, which was established under the Milk (Regulation of Supply) Act, 1994. This legislation provides that pasteurised milk produced in the State cannot be sold for liquid consumption unless it has been produced under a contract registered with the National Milk Agency. It also provides, inter alia , that the contract must be for at least 12 mo...

135. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the progress made in the negotiations on the Common Fisheries Policy to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14663/13 asked on 26 Mar 2013 - Common Fisheries Policy Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the overarching policy framework which governs the fisheries and wider seafood sectors in the European Union. First put in place in 1983, it has been subject to reviews every 10 years, and is currently undergoing a reform process the important elements of which are expected to conclude during the Irish Presidency.
The CFP is essentially three separate pieces of legislation, a basic policy r...

143. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the co-financed Exchequer funding that will be required to fully drawdown EU funding under the rural development plan, pillar 2, in the forthcoming Common Agricultural Policy, as decided by the heads of government in the MFF; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14658/13 asked on 26 Mar 2013 - Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The European Council agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) provides some €313m for Ireland per year under Pillar 2 of the CAP for the period 2014 - 2020. This includes a special allocation of €100 million, over the full period, negotiated in the final stages of the talks. 
The MFF provides for flexibility regarding the co-financing rates for Pillar 2 support measures and a number of different rates have been ...

138. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of hectares planted in 2011 and 2012; the target for planting in each year; the steps he intends taking to increase private planting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6992/13 asked on 12 Feb 2013 - Afforestation Programme)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Payment in respect of 6,653 hectares of new planting was made in 2011 under the afforestation schemes with an almost identical figure of 6,652 hectares planted in 2012. These figures were consistent with the annual funding provided in each year for the afforestation programme.
The outlook for planting in 2013 is positive with an increased interest in forestry among landowners as evidenced by the increased number of applicatio...

140. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers who applied under the disadvantaged areas payments scheme for 2012; the number who have received their payments; the number who have had their payments rejected; the number still under consideration broken down on a county by county basis;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6974/13 asked on 12 Feb 2013 - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Payments under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced, on target, on 26 September and, to date, payments worth in excess of €203 million have issued to some 93,000 farmers. Payments continue to issue twice weekly, as individual cases are confirmed eligible.
Nationally, 127 applications were subject to 100% penalty, as each was received after the final date for receipt of applications. The governing EU regulations requir...

742. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of former public servants recruited before 6 April 1995 who are currently receiving a public sector pension including both pensions funded by the Exchequer and through the Local Government Fund, and those pension schemes for which he has responsibility; the age profile of those public servants; if he will provide in tabular form the numbers of public sector pensioners in the following parameters between €1,000 intervals up to €20,000 and those on more than €20,000. (Question 5884/13 asked on 05 Feb 2013 - Public Sector Pensions Data)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform is providing the information on the numbers of retired civil servants in receipt of the various ranges of pension, as sought by the Deputy.
The parallel information in respect of the State Bodies under the aegis of my Department is a matter for the Bodies themselves. 
My Department is responsible for the payment of pensions to a small number of former employees of bodies under the a...

19. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will explain the 0.9% linear reduction to the single farm payment imposed in 2012; the number of farmers this will affect; the total amount of the reduction and where these funds go; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55971/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Single Payment Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Single Farm Payment is one of the most important payments received by farmers each year. The amount of funding available for payment to Irish farmers under the 2011 and 2012 Schemes was €1.263 billion and €1.255 billion respectively. These funds were used to pay the Single Farm Payment and the Article 68 Schemes namely the Grassland Sheep Scheme, the Dairy Efficiency Programme and the Burren Farming for Conservation Progra...

34. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applications received under the agri-environment options scheme 3 by 7 December 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55976/12 asked on 13 Dec 2012 - Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Approximately 10,000 AEOS 3 applications were received in my Department’s offices at Johnstown Castle by close of business on Friday December 7, the closing date for submission of applications under the scheme. My Department is currently registering the receipt of all applications prior to commencing with the detailed inputting of application details. I expect that this initial recording of applications to be completed in the ...

115. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if as part of the renegotiation of the common fisheries policy he has raised the issue of the allocation of the fishing catch allocated to Ireland, approximately 4% in view if the fact that Ireland owns 18% of the fish resource of the EU; the response from the EU; if he intends pursuing this national interest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48264/12 asked on 06 Nov 2012 - Common Fisheries Policy Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The main potential benefit of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) system for Irish fishermen is that it provides a system which aspires to the structured and sustainable management of international fishing activity in each of the key areas of interest to Irish fishermen. In addition, it provides stable arrangements for access to the large EU seafood market for the large volume of Irish seafood products which the Irish fishing in...

128. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of boats disqualified from fishing for herring this year due to the changes in the rules introduced by him this year; the home ports of the vessels in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48265/12 asked on 06 Nov 2012 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): In 2011, I asked the fishing industry and other interested parties to make proposals on the future management arrangements for all Irish herring fisheries, the Celtic Sea stock, the stocks off the North West coast and the Atlanto Scandian stock. The objective of the review was to deliver a policy which would ensure an economically and biologically sustainable fishery. I received over 20 sets of proposals and comments in relati...