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Minister Smith Announces Payments Under the 2008 Suckler Welfare Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, confirmed that his Department will commence payments under the 2008 Suckler Welfare Scheme on Monday next, 17 November. Payments of €80 per cow will continue on a rolling basis in respect of the 2008 born calves, as additional animals become eligible.

The Minister said: "These payments will be worth some €77 million in respect of 2008 born calves for the 53,000 applicants in the scheme and payments will continue into 2009. It is expected that up to €33 million will be paid this year, and a further €44 million paid in 2009 in respect of cows that calved in 2008."

The Minister encouraged applicants to continue to complete and return their forms as quickly as possible, and for those making their returns on-line to do so also. He added: "The sooner farmers complete these important returns the sooner these cases can be processed."

Minister Smith went on to say that the Department was now issuing letters to farmers where there were queries. He urged farmers to reply quickly to any correspondence in relation to Suckler Welfare Scheme and said his Department would be making every effort to clear these outstanding cases.

Finally, the Minister reminded farmers seeking clarification regarding the query letters to contact the following Lo-call numbers:

Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Roscommon and Westmeath
Tel: 1890 252 822

All other counties
Tel: 1890 252 707

Date Released: 12 November 2007