Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme
917. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to reverse the reduction to 50% of the value of microchipped donkeys on registered premises as per the rules for stocking density requirements for the 2020 areas of natural constraint scheme; and his further plans to reintroduce the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS, farm plan scheme. [2640/20]
Following consultation with stakeholders in advance of the 2019 Areas of Natural Constraints scheme, it was decided to introduce changes in the scheme stocking requirement in relation to donkeys.
With effect from the 2020 ANC scheme year, only 50% of an applicant's stocking density can be fulfilled using donkeys and the balance must be fulfilled using other eligible animals. This change was highlighted in the Terms and Conditions document of the 2019 ANC scheme in order to give sufficient lead in time to applicants who may need to amend their stocking patterns.
There are no plans to reverse this decision.
In relation to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Farm Plan Scheme, this scheme comes under the remit of the NPWS, which is part of the Heritage Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The NPWS is now accepting applications to participate in the Farm Plan Scheme 2020. Application forms and additional information on the scheme are available on the website of the NPWS.