Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will make payments of the beef special premium and the suckler cow premium; why these payments have been delayed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ancram
I refer the right hon. Gentleman to press release No. 5/94 dated 11 January 1994 from the Department of Agriculture—Northern Ireland—which sets
Glenshane Co Londonderry Belraugh Co Londonderry Glenwherry Co Antrim Acreage restricted in September 1987 10,744 2,248 8,620 Acreage derestricted 14 January 1991 247 943 — Acreage derestricted 11 December 1991 568 — — Acreage derestricted 14 January 1993 — — 1,112 Acreage to be derestricted 19 January 1994 — — 618 Approximate acreage still under restriction 9,929 1,305 6,890
The highest levels of contamination measured in the restricted areas in vegetation, peat and mineral soils were 2367,1566 and 651 becquerels radiocaesium per kilogramme, respectively. The levels of contamination in peat and mineral soils have reduced by approximately 15 to 20 per cent. Variable changes have been seen in herbage with reductions of up to 50 per cent. depending on location and species. The soil—plant—animal transfer of radioactivity is complex and is influenced by many factors. Hence, it is not possible to predict when the remaining restrictions will be removed.
Measurements of caesium levels in sheep are the best way of monitoring the change in caesium status of the soils and vegetation.682W
out the current position on payment of claims under these and other livestock premium schemes. A copy has been sent to the press notice desk in the House of Commons Library.