The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine takes note of reports of fires since the closing date for such activities commenced on March 1st, particularly in Counties Kerry, Laois and Wicklow.
The Department, by means of satellite imagery, can identify lands that have been burnt.
Analysis of the relevant imagery indicates that at least 130 hectares has been burnt in these counties since 1st March. The Terms and Conditions for the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes makes clear that such lands are ineligible for payment.
“Where land has been burned between the 1 March and the 31 August, it is not in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation and therefore is not eligible for the remainder of the year”.
The Department will contact those applicants who apply on burnt lands in 2021, informing them of the consequence of the burning on their eligible area for payment.
The Department will also shortly commence ground inspections in areas identified through satellite imagery to carry out further checks in these areas.
Notes to Editors:
The burning of vegetation is controlled by the Wildlife Acts. It is an offence under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Act, 2000) to burn, from 1 March to 31 August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
Individuals who are found to burn vegetation within that prohibited period are liable to prosecution by An Garda Síochána or by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has no role in regard to prosecutions.