Irish government bends suckler rules

By FWi staff

IRISH livestock farmers are to receive their advance suckler cow premiums (SCP) from 16 October, even though many of them will not have completed the mandatory six-month retention period.

The move, announced by farm minister Joe Walsh, is intended to provide more flexibility following disruptions caused by foot-and-mouth disease.

Ireland had just one case earlier this year, but all farmers were affected by movement controls.

“This year, for the first time, farmers were allowed to submit their applications at a time of their choosing between 2 January and 29 June,” said Mr Walsh.

Most were expected to apply early and should have already completed their retention periods.

But during the foot-and-mouth crisis, many farmers were unable to purchase their breeding replacements and had to delay their SCP applications.

The concession means that these farmers will not have to wait until the six months is up before receiving any money.

Irish Farmers Association livestock chairman, Derek Deane, welcomed the move, saying a delay to the payments would have caused serious cash flow problems for many suckler producers.

He reminded farmers that it was still essential to observe the retention period, which will be subject to government checks before final balancing payments go out.


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