Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007
Written Answers. - EU Directives.
Mr. Bruton Mr. Bruton
Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if is satisfied that farmers are fully aware of the compliance rules under the Nitrates Directive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3562/07]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan: The European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2006 were made by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in July 2006.
In order to inform and assist farmers with the Regulations, my own Department produced an Explanatory Handbook for farmers setting out in clear terms their obligations under the Regulations. This Handbook, together with a copy of the Regulations, was sent to all farmers in October 2006. In addition, my Department made use of its data holdings to send organic nitrogen and phosphorus statements to farmers in respect of the 2005 calendar year. Statements in respect of 2006 are being prepared at present, and will issue as early as possible.
A series of open information meetings took place between 20 November and 4 December 2006, conducted by my Department in conjunction with Teagasc. The dates and venues of these meetings were widely publicised by way of advertisements in the farming press.
While my Department, in conjunction with Teagasc, has thus made major efforts to inform farmers about their obligations under the Regulations, the responsibility for compliance rests ultimately with the occupier of a holding. Farmers should therefore ensure that they have read and understood their obligations under the Regulations and they should, if necessary, obtain professional advice from their agricultural advisers.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. EU Directives.