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Minister Smith announces payments under the 2009 Suckler Welfare Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, confirmed that his Department today commenced payments under the 2009 Suckler Welfare Scheme. Payments of €40 per cow will continue on a rolling basis in respect of the 2009 born calves, as additional animals become eligible.

The Minister said: "These payments will be worth some €30 million in respect of 2009 born calves for the 53,000 applicants in the scheme and payments will continue into 2010."

The Minister encouraged applicants to continue to complete and return their forms as quickly as possible, and certainly within 12 months of the birth of the animals, 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 will issue letters in the near future to farmers where there are 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 number:  Tel: 1890 252 707

Date Released: 26 January 2010