Further consultation needed on new suckler scheme

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East Galway TD Paul Connaughton is this week seeking further consultation in relation to the recently announced Beef Data and Genomics Programme.
‘The new scheme, as announced last week, is very welcome and is aimed at protecting the number of suckler herds in the country, which has been declining in recent years. The announcement of the six-year programme is a very welcome step but there are certain elements of the scheme that need to be revisited.
‘I have been contacted by a number of farmers who are concerned that if they have to pull out of the scheme at any stage, all monies would have to be repaid. If someone is forced to change farm enterprise because of unforeseen circumstances, such as ill health, they should not have to repay money that they received in previous years when they were fully compliant with the scheme. This clause in the scheme is a cause of great concern for many farmers and I believe that further discussion is needed in relation to this measure and I will be looking for the Minister to revisit this element of the scheme in consultation with farmers.’