§ Mr. Tredinnick
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what powers she has to ensure that no transfers of milk quota that are invalid or fraudulent are recorded in the register; and what steps she takes to ensure that the register is rectified and accurately maintained.
§ Mr. Jack
The quota register is amended following the submission of a duly completed quota transfer form. In cases where the parties concerned dispute the quota apportionment, or where the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that a correct apportionment of quota has not been made, the Dairy Produce Quotas Regulations 1993 provide for the matter to be referred to arbitration. Pre-processing checks are made on a number of transfer forms to establish that there has, indeed, been a change in occupation of the land used for milk production. Where no such change of occupation is established, the transfer form would be rejected. Any party who contravenes the Dairy Produce Quotas Regulations or the relevant EC legislation, or who makes a false statement, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a substantial fine.