FIE has written to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney asking him to reconsider the new requirement for hill farmers to double their stocking rates to qualify for grant payments. Changes recently announced to the Disadvantaged Area Scheme which includes 100,000 farmers, require them to double their stocking rate from one sheep to two per hectare.

High stocking rates got Ireland condemned by the EU Court of Justice. At that time Ireland promised REPS and cuts to stocking rates and the introcution of REPS to meet the requirement to maintain the 'ecological needs of habitats inside and outside the protected zones'

Now REPs is closed and funding has been allocated to its replacement, AEOS. There is a clear danger that the factors which brought Ireland before the Court of Justice ten years ago are coming back again.

We have also asked the Minister to reverse the Exclusion of non-breeding horses from stocking density calculations. This will encourage breeding of horses when there is a current serious surplus in Ireland.

 Press Release   Letter to Minister

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