Sheep fencing inclusion in next round of TAMS hinges on Commission approval

The inclusion of a sheep fencing scheme in the current round of TAMS II hinges on approval from the European Commission, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

According to the Department, the relevant information has been sent to the European Commission for the approval of a scheme to provide grant aid for fencing on sheep farms.

For sheep fencing to be included in the current Tranche of TAMS II, a spokesperson for the Department said that it has to receive official clearance from Brussels, prior to the closing of the Trance on June 24.

It also confirmed to Agriland that it is awaiting confirmation from the Commission on the proposed items up for grant aid in the new scheme.

Earlier this week, the IFA reported that the sheep fencing scheme would be included in the current Tranche of TAMS II.

It also suggested that farmers should start preparing their applications in anticipation of the opening of the scheme before the end of June.

However, the Department dismissed this, as the proposed measures are not guaranteed to be included in the scheme, as inclusion lies at the discretion of the Commission.

The Department also confirmed that it is in regular contact with the European Commission over the application for the sheep fencing scheme.

In October of 2016, the now former Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney confirmed that sheep fencing would be eligible for grant aid funding under the TAMS II scheme.

The Minister had come under sustained pressure from farm organisations over the initial exclusion of sheep fencing from the TAMS II grant schemes.

However, Budget 2016 has seen a €35.8m allocation for TAMS II which will also provide funding for the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme which will be at the higher grant rate of 60%.