Over 3,500 herd numbers remain unprocessed days before deadline

Over 3,500 herd numbers remained to be processed by Department of Agriculture just days ahead of tomorrow’s May 29 deadline for both the Young Farmer and Basic Payment Schemes.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said this week that as expected, there has been a considerable increase in activity in regard to herd numbers arising from the new Basic Payments Scheme negotiated in the context of CAP reform.

As a result, there has been a significant increase in applications to my Department’s Regional Veterinary Offices for new herd numbers and amendments to existing herd numbers and these are being processed as quickly as possible and currently just over 3,500 applications remain to be finalised.

In this context, the Minister said priority is being given to cases relating to applicants under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme where a minimum stocking density requirement exists.

He said given the particular circumstances this year, the Department has made a number of special arrangements designed to ensure that the non-issue of a herd number by the relevant scheme closing date will not impact negatively on applicants under the Basic Payments Scheme.

For example, he said where an applicant under the National Reserve priority categories of ‘young farmer’ and ‘new entrant’ had not been issued a herd number or added to a herd number by the closing date of 31 March 2015, their application under the National Reserve is being accepted once they had applied for a herd number or to be added to a herd number prior to March 31, 2015.

Similarly, he said applicants under the Young Farmers Scheme who have not been issued a herd number or added to a herd number by the closing date of May 29, 2015 will have their applications under the Scheme accepted once they have applied for a herd number or to be added to a herd number prior to May 29.

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