xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

1999 No. 497

AGRICULTURE

The Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

Made

17th December 1999

Coming into operation

17th December 1999

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development being a Department designated(1) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972(2) in relation to the common agricultural policy of the European Community, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the said section 2(2) and of every other power enabling it in that behalf, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 and shall come into operation on 17th December 1999.

Interpretation

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(3), except section 20(2) and (3), shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In these Regulations—

(3) Any reference in these Regulations to a Community instrument is a reference to that instrument as amended on the date on which these Regulations are made.

Payment of compensatory allowance

3.—(1) The Department may pay in respect of the Scheme Year to any person who maintains breeding cows or ewes on eligible land a compensatory allowance for each breeding cow and ewe which he owns, or leases under a formal leasing arrangement, throughout the retention period applicable to the animal concerned.

(2) A compensatory allowance may be paid only where the eligible land on which the claimant maintains breeding cows or ewes forms part of a holding for which a valid area aid application was submitted in 1999.

Rates of payment

4.—(1) The compensatory allowance for breeding cows shall be paid at the rates set out in Part I of the Schedule.

(2) The compensatory allowance for ewes shall be paid at the rates set out in Part II of the Schedule.

(3) The total amount of compensatory allowances which may be paid to a claimant shall not exceed the maximum specified in Part III of the Schedule.

Continued use of eligible land

5.  A compensatory allowance may be paid to a claimant not in receipt of a retirement pension only if he has given a written undertaking, in such form as the Department may reasonably require, that he will, for a period of five years from the first payment of compensatory allowance under these Regulations, the 1996 Regulations or the 1994 Regulations, continue to use eligible land for agriculture.

Usual good farming practices

6.  A compensatory allowance may be paid only if, in the opinion of the Department, the claimant applies usual good farming practices on the eligible land on which he maintains breeding cows or ewes.

Provisions with respect to breeding cows

7.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation, the number of breeding cows for which a compensatory allowance may be paid to a claimant who has made a valid claim for compensatory allowances for breeding cows in respect of the Scheme Year shall be the least of—

(a)the number of breeding cows included in that claim;

(b)the number of breeding cows which were owned by the claimant, or leased by him under a formal leasing arrangement, throughout the retention period applicable to breeding cows;

(c)the number of breeding cows which would, in the opinion of the Department, be required in order to produce the number of calves actually produced by the claimant’s regular breeding herd—

(i)in the 12 months preceding the date on which the claim is lodged or,

(ii)in the case of a claim accepted as valid pursuant to regulation 11(4), in the twelve months preceding the day on which the claim was received by the Department, or

(iii)in the case of a regular breeding herd newly established or re-established in the twelve months referred to in sub-paragraph (i) or (ii), in such other period as the Department may determine; and

(d)the number of breeding cows which, when added to the number of ewes which are the subject of a claim for compensatory allowances made by the claimant in respect of the Scheme Year, is equivalent to 1·4 livestock units for each hectare of the claimant’s eligible land which is either forage area or relevant afforested land.

(2) A compensatory allowance shall not be paid for any breeding cow the use of which for breeding would not, in the opinion of the Department, be in accordance with sound husbandry practice.

(3) Where a claimant uses unsuitable supplementary feeding methods the Department may, in accordance with paragraph (4) reduce or withhold the compensatory allowances for breeding cows otherwise payable to him.

(4) Where the claimant was not penalised under regulation 4 of the 1996 Regulations in 1999 for using unsuitable supplementary feeding methods, the compensatory allowances for breeding cows otherwise payable to him may be reduced by 10%; where the claimant was so penalised in 1999, but not in 1998, the compensatory allowances for breeding cows otherwise payable to him may be reduced by 20%; and where the claimant was so penalised in 1999 and 1998, the compensatory allowances for breeding cows otherwise payable to him may be withheld.

(5) Where milk has been produced by a regular breeding herd in the 12 months preceding the day on which a claimant lodges a claim for compensatory allowances for any breeding cows in that herd, or, in the case of such a claim accepted as valid pursuant to regulation 11(4), in the 12 months preceding the day on which the claim was received by the Department, and that milk has been sold or used for the manufacture of milk products for sale, the number of breeding cows for which compensatory allowances may be paid to the claimant may be reduced by the number which would, in the opinion of the Department, have been required to produce that quantity of milk in those 12 months.

Provisions with respect to ewes

8.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation, the number of ewes for which a compensatory allowance may be paid to a claimant who has made a valid claim for compensatory allowances for ewes in respect of the Scheme Year shall be the least of—

(a)the number of ewes included in that claim;

(b)the number of ewes which were owned by the claimant, or leased by him under a formal leasing arrangement, throughout the retention period applicable to ewes;

(c)the number of ewes which would, in the opinion of the Department, be required in order to produce the number of lambs actually produced by the claimant’s qualified flock—

(i)in the twelve months preceding the date on which the claim is lodged, or

(ii)in the case of a claim accepted as valid pursuant to regulation 11(4), in the twelve months preceding the day on which the claim was received by the Department, or

(iii)in the case of a qualified flock newly established or re-established in the twelve months referred to in sub-paragraph (i) or (ii), in such other period as the Department may determine;

(d)a number calculated at the rate of—

(i)six ewes for each hectare of severely disadvantaged land, and

(ii)nine ewes for each hectare of disadvantaged land,

included in the claimant’s eligible land which is either forage area or relevant afforested land;

(e)the number of ewes which, when added to the number of breeding cows which are the subject of a claim for compensatory allowances made by the claimant in respect of the Scheme Year, is equivalent to 1.4 livestock units for each hectare of the claimant’s eligible land which is either forage area or relevant afforested land.

(2) A compensatory allowance shall not be paid for any ewe the use of which for breeding would not, in the opinion of the Department, be in accordance with sound husbandry practice.

(3) Where a claimant uses unsuitable supplementary feeding methods the Department may, in accordance with paragraph (4), reduce or withhold the compensatory allowances for ewes otherwise payable to him.

(4) Where the claimant was not penalised under regulation 5 of the 1996 Regulations in 1999 for using unsuitable supplementary feeding methods, the compensatory allowances for ewes otherwise payable to him may be reduced by 10%; where the claimant was so penalised in 1999, but not in 1998, the compensatory allowance for ewes otherwise payable to him may be reduced by 20%; and where the claimant was so penalised in 1999 and 1998, the compensatory allowances for ewes otherwise payable to him may be withheld.

Replacement animals

9.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), any breeding cow included in a claim for compensatory allowances may be replaced before the end of the retention period by another breeding cow or by a female bovine animal which has not yet borne a calf but which is in-calf on the day of replacement, without calling into question the number of breeding cows which have been owned or leased throughout the retention period.

(2) A replacement pursuant to paragraph (1) must occur—

(a)within twenty days of the replaced breeding cow leaving the regular breeding herd of which it formed part; or

(b)before the end of the retention period,

whichever is the sooner.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), any ewe included in a claim for compensatory allowances may be replaced by another ewe or by another female sheep which will be at least one year old by the end of the retention period, without calling into question the number of ewes which have been owned or leased throughout the retention period.

(4) Where a ewe or another female sheep replaces a ewe which is a member of a specially qualified flock, the replacement animal must be of a hardy breed or hardy cross-breed.

(5) A replacement pursuant to paragraph (3) must occur—

(a)within seven days of the replaced ewe leaving the qualified flock of which it formed part; or

(b)before the end of the retention period,

whichever is the sooner.

Overgrazing

10.—(1) Subject to paragraph (4), where at any time in the 12 months preceding the first date for lodging claims pursuant to regulation 11(1), the Department formed the opinion that any parcel of land was being overgrazed it may notify the occupier of the maximum number of breeding cows which may be grazed and maintained on that parcel in the Scheme Year.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), where at any time in the 12 months preceding the first date for lodging claims pursuant to regulation 11(2), the Department formed the opinion that any parcel of land is being overgrazed, it may notify the occupier of the maximum number of ewes which may be grazed and maintained on that parcel in the Scheme Year.

(3) The maximum numbers referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be determined by taking account of the number of other animals likely to be grazed and maintained on the parcel concerned in the Scheme Year and having regard to such conditions as may be specified in the notification.

(4) Where the Department has previously issued a notification under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) in relation to any parcel of land, it may issue a further such notification in relation thereto without having formed the opinion that it was being overgrazed.

(5) Where the Department has issued a notification under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2), no compensatory allowance shall be paid in respect of the Scheme Year for any breeding cow or ewe grazed and maintained in the Scheme Year on the land to which it relates in excess of the maximum number of breeding cows or ewes specified in the notification.

Claims for compensatory allowances

11.—(1) A claim for compensatory allowances in respect of the Scheme Year for breeding cows shall be lodged with the Department on or after the day these Regulations come into operation but not later than 20th December 1999.

(2) A claim for compensatory allowances in respect of the Scheme Year for ewes shall be lodged with the Department on or after the day on which these Regulations come into force, but not later than 19th January 2000.

(3) A claim for compensatory allowances shall be made in such form as the Department may reasonably require, and no person shall be entitled to make more than one such claim for breeding cows or ewes in respect of the Scheme Year, provided that, where a number of claims for compensatory allowances for breeding cows or ewes are made by persons who have in respect of that year made more than one area aid application but who are regarded as a single farmer within the meaning of Article 1(4) of Council Regulation 3508/92, the claims concerned shall be deemed to be a single claim made by one person for the purposes of this paragraph.

(4) The Department may accept as valid, claims for compensatory allowances for breeding cows in the form referred to in paragraph (3) which were received by it on or after 27th October 1999.

(5) The Department may accept as valid, claims for compensatory allowances for ewes in the form referred to in paragraph (3) which were received by it on or after 8th December 1999.

(6) Where the claimant is a producer group within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation 3493/90 the claimant shall, in making a claim for compensatory allowances for ewes under this regulation, observe signature formalities equivalent to those imposed by Article 2(1) of Commission Regulation 2385/91 in relation to the application referred to therein.

Late claims

12.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), if a claimant lodges a claim for compensatory allowances in respect of the Scheme Year later than the relevant closing date, the amount otherwise payable to him shall be reduced by one per cent for every working day later than that date his claim is lodged.

(2) If a claim is lodged more than 25 days (whether or not working days) later than the relevant closing date, no compensatory allowances shall be paid to the claimant pursuant to that claim.

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply if and to the extent that a claim is lodged later than the relevant closing date by reason of force majeure.

(4) In this regulation—

(a)“the relevant closing date” means 20th December 1999 in the case of a claim for compensatory allowances for breeding cows and 19th January 2000 in the case of a claim for compensatory allowances for ewes;

(b)“working day” means a day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, a common law holiday in Northern Ireland, or a bank holiday in Northern Ireland under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971(23);

(c)force majeure” means abnormal and unforeseeable circumstances outside the control of the claimant, the consequences of which could not have been avoided by the exercise of all due care by the claimant.

Movement of animals

13.  Before a claimant moves any breeding cow or ewe included in his claim for compensatory allowances from the location given for it in the claim, he shall notify the Department in writing of the new location.

Release from undertaking

14.  A claimant is by virtue of this regulation released from the undertaking referred to in regulation 5—

(a)at the moment he first receives a retirement pension;

(b)if he is prevented from continuing to discharge that undertaking by reason of any material circumstance beyond his control; or

(c)if he ceases farming and at least 3 hectares of the eligible land last used by him for the grazing of animals continue to be used for agriculture.

Witholding or recovery of compensatory allowances

15.—(1) The Department may withhold or recover on demand the whole or any part of any compensatory allowance payable or paid to a claimant in respect of the Scheme Year in any of the following circumstances—

(a)where the claimant fails to comply with the terms of an undertaking given by him pursuant to regulation 5, from which he has not been released by regulation 14;

(b)where, in the opinion of the Department, the claimant has failed to apply usual good farming practices on the eligible land on which he maintains breeding cows or ewes;

(c)where the Department has issued to the claimant a notification under regulation 10(1) or (2) and is satisfied that a condition specified in that notification has been breached, or that more breeding cows or ewes than the maximum number specified in the notification have been grazed and maintained in the Scheme Year on the parcel of land to which it relates;

(d)where the claimant fails to notify the Department in writing of the movement of a breeding cow or ewe, in accordance with regulation 13;

(e)where the claimant, or an employee, servant or agent of the claimant, intentionally obstructs an authorised person, or a person accompanying an authorised person and acting under his instructions, from exercising any power conferred by regulation 4 of the Enforcement Regulations, or fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement made by an authorised person under that regulation, or a request made by an authorised person under regulation 5 of the Enforcement Regulations.

(2) Where at any time during the Scheme Year the claimant fails to comply with regulation 3(4) and (5) of the 1998 Cattle Regulations, the Department may withhold or recover on demand the whole or any part of any compensatory allowance for breeding cows payable or paid to the claimant in respect of the Scheme Year.

Rate of Interest

16.  Where the Department recovers the whole or any part of any compensatory allowance pursuant to regulation 15, unless the sum recovered was paid as a result of its own error, interest shall be charged thereon at the rate of one per cent above the sterling three months London Interbank Offered Rate on a day-to-day basis for the period from payment to recovery.

Approval of compensatory allowances by the European Commission

17.  If the European Commission shall not approve, in accordance with Article 44(2) of Council Regulation 1257/1999, the payment of the compensatory allowances provided for in these Regulations, or shall approve their payment in part only, the Department may withhold, or recover on demand, any compensatory allowances payable or paid in respect of the Scheme Year, in full or to the extent that payment is not so approved, as the case may be.

Revocations and saving

18.  The Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(24), the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996(25), the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1997(26), the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1997(27), the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1998(28), the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1998(29) and the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1999(30) are hereby revoked, except in relation to—

(a)any compensatory allowances paid or payable since 31st December 1994; and

(b)any statement or information referred to in regulation 14(c) of the 1996 Regulations (offence of making a false or misleading statement) which is made or furnished in, or in connection with, a claim for compensatory allowances accepted as valid pursuant to regulation 11(4).

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on 17th December 1999.

L.S.

Evelyn Cummins

Senior Officer of the

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Regulation 4

SCHEDULE

Part IRates of payment for breeding cows

Composition of eligible landPayment for each breeding cow

Note: Where the claimant’s eligible land consists of disadvantaged land and severely disadvantaged land the amount up to which £73·39 is payable for each breeding cow shall be calculated according to the following formula—

where—

  • A is the said amount,

  • H is the total area in hectares of the severely disadvantaged land and any relevant afforested land occupied by the claimant, and

  • E is the total amount of compensatory allowances payable to the claimant in the Scheme Year for ewes of a hardy breed or hardy cross-breed comprised in a specially qualified flock.

Disadvantaged land only£36·69
Severely disadvantaged land£73·39
Disadvantaged land and severely disadvantaged land£73·39 up to an amount calculated in accordance with the note below, and thereafter — £36·69

Part IIRates of payment for ewes

1.  For each ewe of a hardy breed or hardy cross-breed included in a specially qualified flock—

£8·88

2.  For ewes other than any referred to in paragraph 1—

Composition of eligible landPayment for each ewe

Note 1: Where the claimant’s eligible land consists of disadvantaged land and severely disadvantaged land the maximum number of ewes for which £4·64 is payable shall be calculated according to the following formula—

where—

  • N is the said maximum number,

  • H is the total area in hectares of the severely disadvantaged land and any relevant afforested land occupied by the claimant, and

  • E is the total amount of compensatory allowances payable to the claimant in the Scheme Year for ewes of a hardy breed or hardy cross-breed comprised in a specially qualified flock.

Note 2: Where the claimant’s eligible land consists of disadvantaged land and severely disadvantaged land the amount up to which £4·64 is payable for each ewe shall be calculated according to the following formula—

where—

  • A is the said amount,

  • H represents the same area as in Note 1, and

  • C is the sum of the total amount represented by E in Note 1 and any compensatory allowances payable to the claimant in the Scheme Year at the rate of £73.39 for each breeding cow.

Disadvantaged land only£4·09
Severely disadvantaged land only£4·64
Disadvantaged land and severely disadvantaged land£4·64 for a maximum number of ewes calculated in accordance with Note 1 below, up to an amount calculated in accordance with Note 2 below, and for each further ewe in excess of that maximum number, or when that amount has been reached ‘ £4·09.

Part IIIMaximum payment of compensatory allowances

The sum of—

which is either forage area or relevant afforested land.

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations, which come into force on 17th December 1999, provide for the administration of the Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances Scheme in Northern Ireland in 2000. They re-enact, with modifications, the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Northern Ireland) 1996, as amended. In addition to minor and drafting amendments, they introduce a requirement that farmers claiming compensatory allowances must apply usual good farming practices on their land (regulation 6).

These Regulations comply with Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1750/1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 and Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2603/1999 laying down rules for the transition to the rural development support provided for by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999.

Compensatory allowances are paid for breeding cows and ewes on farms in the less-favoured farming areas in Northern Ireland, at the same rates as in 1999 (regulations 3 and 4(1) and (2), and Schedule, Parts I and II). There are limits on the number of animals for which allowances may be paid (regulations 7 and 8) and on the total amount a claimant may receive per hectare of his forage area (regulation 4(3) and Schedule, Part III).

The Regulations impose penalties for unsuitable supplementary feeding methods (regulations 7(3) and (4) and 8(3) and (4)) and for overgrazing (regulation 10). Regulation 15 provides for withholding or recovery of compensatory allowances where there is a breach of the rules of the Scheme.

Powers of enforcement and offences and penalties relating to the Scheme are contained in the Hill Livestock (Compensatory Allowances) (Enforcement) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/3315).

(1)

S.I. 1972/1811

(8)

O.J. No. L219, 7.8.91, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2143/96 (O.J. No. L286, 8.11.96, p. 10)

(9)

O.J. No. L214, 13.8.1999, p. 31

(10)

O.J. No. L316, 10.12.1999, p. 26

(11)

O.J. No. L337, 4.12.90, p. 7, as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 233/94 (O.J. No. L30, 3.2.94, p. 9)

(12)

O.J. No. L355, 5.12.92, p. 1, as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1036/1999 (O.J. No. L127, 21.5.99, p. 4)

(13)

O.J. No. L160, 26.6.1999, p. 80

(14)

S.I. 1999/3315

(15)

S.I. 1975/2210, as amended by S.I. 1976/1203, 1977/1960 and 1979/941 and revoked by S.I. 1979/1748

(16)

S.I. 1979/1748, as amended by S.I. 1980/2028, 1981/1843, 1982/1886 and revoked by S.I. 1984/2024

(17)

S.I. 1984/2024

(19)

S.R. 1993 No. 449 as last amended by S.R. No. 474