17 May 2002

Farmers to get casualty claim fines returned

BEEF farmers who were fined for claiming for casualty animals on their year 2000 slaughter premium claims are to have the fines returned to them by the Rural Payments Agency.

In total, 12,827 farmers will be repaid fines. The amount they will get depends on what proportion of the years total claim consisted of ineligible cattle.

A statement issued by the RPA says the European Commission agreed to allow reimbursements after the RPA persuaded the Commission that producers had been confused about the situation governing casualties.

The EU agreed a one-off concession under IACS rules on "obvious errors" (as opposed to deliberate fraud). The concession applies to year 2000 claims on Over Thirty Months cattle as well as younger ones. But the slaughter premium will still not be paid.

Only those ineligible because they were casualties will be taken into account in reassessing the correct penalty and how much should be refunded. &#42