The EU Commission has approved a £9m foot and mouth disease compensation scheme for sheep farmers in less favoured areas of Wales.

Brussels requested that the original area-based compensation plan, tabled in February by Wales’ rural affairs minister by Elin Jones, should be revised to avoid the risk of over-compensation.

“I made it clear that the detail of the scheme would require clearance from the commission,” Ms Jones said. “The [Welsh Assembly] has now secured the commission’s clearance to a revised scheme. This will take the form of a £2/sheep payment.”

Payment

The assembly has already started issuing payments, which are based on data provided in single payment application forms submitted in May 2007, subject to forms successfully completing administrative checks.

The release of funding has occurred only a few weeks after LFA farmers started receiving their 2008 Tir Mynydd scheme cheques.Some £24.5m of the total due has already been paid to farmers, and those with cattle are due start getting their share of a special £4m grazing enhancement.