Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
174. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the eligibility rules that applied to donkeys under the ANC scheme in 2021; the proposals he has to change the rules for 2022 and subsequent years; the reason the rules are so restrictive compared to other equines such as horses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53565/21]
As set out in the terms and conditions of the 2021 Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme, donkeys are eligible for inclusion in the calculation of a participants stocking rate under the scheme, subject to compliance with certain requirements regarding the registration of the premises where the donkeys are kept with the Department in accordance with S.I. No. 8 of 2012, Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Registration of Horse Premises) Order 2012, and the requirement to have a valid passport for each donkey with the animal registered in the applicant's name. Full details are available in the terms and conditions booklet for the scheme, which is available on the Department's website.
In particular, donkeys can only account for 50% of the stocking density requirement for a participant. Participants are required to use other eligible livestock to fulfil the other 50% requirement.
This change was introduced following the consultation process carried out as part of the review of the designated areas ahead of the launch of the 2019 ANC scheme. It was supported by the relevant farming bodies and approved by the EU Commission when Ireland's Rural Development Programme was amended.
There is no proposal to amend the existing eligibility rules for the remainder of the current ANC scheme. The process of drawing up the successor scheme to the ANC under the new CAP is currently underway and details of the eligibility requirements for that scheme will be published once they are available.