In order for as many pig producers as possible to comply with the new EU animal welfare rules, the deadline for submission of applications under the Sow Welfare Scheme has been extended.
Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, announced that the deadline for submission of applications under the revised TAMS Sow Welfare Scheme introduced by his Department last July was being extended from end-October 2012 to end-January 2013.
The Minister stated that he was aware that a small number of pig producers had been unable to lodge valid applications by the original closing date of end-October 2012. In order to ensure that as many pig producers as possible would be in a position to comply with the new EU animal welfare rules, he was accordingly extending this closing date to end-January 2013. All applications received during the period of this extension would now be included in a new final tranche for which a sum of €3 million would be available. The other conditions in the Scheme would remain unchanged, including the final date for completion of work and lodgement of a payment claim of end-September 2013.
The Minister reiterated that this new extension did not mean that farmers could ignore the entry into force of the new EU animal welfare rules with effect from 1 January 2013. It merely meant that those farmers who had yet to lodge applications for grant-aid under the Scheme would now be able to do so, and would subsequently receive grant-aid under the Scheme provided the works were completed satisfactorily by end-September 2013. The Minister urged pig farmers who have not yet upgraded to meet the standards to avail of this extension and do so.