Minister McConalogue has confirmed that snail farmers can avail of BPS (Basic Scheme Payment) payments.
Sinn Féin’s Reada Cronin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, if the state recognises snail producers as farmers and if they are eligible for DAFM grant schemes.
Snail farmers: payments
In response to the deputy’s parliamentary question on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, the minister said:
“Although the current agri-environment measure, namely the Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS), is closed to new entrants, it should be noted that the eligibility requirements included being the holder of an active herd number with herd owner status and also having all lands farmed declared in the applicant’s name on my Department’s Integrated Administration and Control System.”
“It is envisaged that the new Agri-Environment Climate Measure (AECM) in Ireland’s draft CAP Strategic Plan will have similar requirements.”
Apply for a herd number
He said to register as a snail farmer; a person must obtain a herd number for their holding (land used for farming purposes) from the DAFM.
When applying for a herd number, the party must declare snails under ‘other’.
Furthermore, snail farmers who intend to process snails must register as a snail farmer with their local RVO.
Also, they must register as a meat establishment with the DAFM’s meat hygiene division.
“If a person farming snails has eligible hectares and a herd number, they can submit an application for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).”
“The BPS does not differentiate between types of farms,” the minister concluded.
According to the DAFM, it bases its Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments on:
- The number of hectares farmed;
- The number and value of enticements held.
Snail farming in Ireland
Last week, Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, shed light on the two main challenges facing snail farmers in Ireland.
“Firstly, a snail, in the Irish government’s eye, is the equivalent of a cow. Secondly, when we want to process snails, we must send them to Greece, bring them back and then send them out again.”
“Because a snail is deemed an animal in Ireland, it is necessary to have the same documentation to process each snail as for a cow,” the deputy said.
He said that France classifies snails as shellfish, therefore allowing for an easy processing system. The deputy believes that the DAFM should adopt the same classification.
He called on the government to remove the “complications, paperwork and unnecessary bureaucracy” that this creates.
Read more on this farming news story.