18 January 2002

BSP cattle retention confused by field ID

A REQUIREMENT to identify fields where cattle will be kept during the retention period on the Beef Special Premium 2002 claim form has left some producers confused.

But the requirement is not as Draconian as it first appears.

A Rural Payments Agency (RPA) spokesperson says only filling in an address and holding number will not delay the lodging of a claim. "But without specified field numbers the RPA will be in touch at a later date."

To avoid this happening, producers can include all likely cattle grazing fields where animals may be moved to during the retention period, says the spokesperson. "We understand that predicted timings of movement between fields will not be specific, but we need to have a general location for cattle."

The need for a field location has been included on claim forms in advance of approved criteria for checking eligibility of claims by the Inspectorate, a new organisation and element of the RPA.

"We do not want to have to modify the claim form later when the exact inspection criteria is decided. Hence the claim form gathers all information they could possibly need."

Later this year, BSP claim forms will be cross-referenced with the BCMS database to determine whether cattle are where they are said to be during the retention period. "Therefore, it is important not to forget to accurately register movements, otherwise premium payments could be delayed while we investigate irregularities," warns the spokesperson. &#42