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Minister Coughlan announces introduction of Sow Housing (Animal Welfare) Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced the launch of a new Scheme to provide grant-aid for the improvement of animal welfare standards in sow housing. The Scheme is provided for in the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme and an allocation of €6 million has been made available for the Scheme as part of the Modernisation of Agricultural Holdings axis of the Programme.

Under the Scheme, grant-aid will be available up to a maximum eligible investment ceiling of €300,000 with a standard grant-rate of 40% being applicable. Grant-aid will also be available for the preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements as required.

The Minister stated that she was particularly pleased that those applicants who had failed to qualify for grants under the previous Scheme as they did not have the required planning permission would now have a further opportunity to obtain grant-aid for such investments.

In launching the Scheme, the Minister said: "It provides further evidence of the importance which the Government places on the maintenance of the highest animal welfare standards in the Irish farming sector."

23 July, 2007

Date Released: 23 July 2007