Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Scheme 2003
NOTES FOR GUIDANCE
These notes cover the Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Scheme (VCSPS) 2003. Please read them carefully to make sure that you understand the scheme requirements.
For more information please contact SEERAD's SPS section in Edinburgh. SEERAD staff can not give you specific business advice. If in doubt, you may wish to get help from a professional adviser.
For each animal you claim you must include a movement card from either its passport or its certificate of registration (CoR). However, you no longer need to provide on its movement card the date the animal moved off the holding or the date it was sold: Section 3.3.
You must declare that the data kept on the cattle tracing database relating to your animals is correct and complete and that you will rectify anything that is incorrect. You must also declare that you will update all movements relating to your holdings as and when they occur: Section 11.
Payments for the 2003 Scheme will be modulated at a flat rate of 3.5% to provide additional funds for rural development: Section 12.
1. Outline of the Scheme
3. Claiming Premium
4. Deadline for receipt of claim
5. Retention period
6. Proof of slaughter
8. Cattle Inspections
9. Record Keeping
11.Declarations and Undertakings
13. Citizen's Charter targets
14. Data Protection Act 1998
Annex A: List of Addresses and Telephone Numbers
1 Outline of the Scheme
The Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Scheme (VCSPS), funded by the EC, gives direct support to cattle producers.
We pay premium on calves slaughtered at more than 1 month and less than 7 months of age (i.e. at least 1 month and 1 day old, but not yet 7 months old).
You must keep the claimed animals on your holding for a retention period of 2 months for calves 3 to 6 months old (inclusive) or 1 month for calves aged more than 1 month and less than 3 months of age. The retention period ends on the day before the date the animals leave your holding or the date sold, whichever is the sooner.
Claimed animals must be slaughtered no later than one month from the end of their retention period.
Veal calves slaughtered at 5 or 6 months must weigh less than 160 kgs.
Claims should be submitted to the SEERAD SPS section and for each animal you claim you must include a movement card from the passport.
Claims must be submitted within 6 months of the date the claimed animals ended retention, or by 29 February 2004, whichever is sooner.
You may lodge up to 12 claim forms for Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Scheme animals slaughtered during the 2003 Scheme year. The 2003 Scheme runs from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2003.
You must keep a herd record book showing the eartag numbers of all cattle on your holding, in accordance with the Cattle Identification Regulations.
Although VCSPS is an IACS based scheme, producers wishing to claim VCSPS only do not have to submit an IACS Area Aid Application (AAA).
After 16 October 2004 we can pay an advance, normally at a rate of 60% of the amount due. The balance will be paid between 1 April and 30 June 2004.
Premium is only payable on cattle of a domestic species.
We may carry out inspections of your holding to verify your claim.
There is a separately operated element of the Scheme known as the Slaughter Premium Scheme (SPS) for animals slaughtered from the age of 8 months. Information on the SPS can be obtained from your local SEERAD Area Office.
2.1 Producers and holdings
Only an eligible producer can claim and be paid premium. A producer may be an individual, company, or partnership, or a group of individuals, companies or partnerships. A holding is all the production units (farms) managed by that producer whether entered on your IACS AAA (if applicable) or not.
If you manage more than one farm, then all your farms are taken together for the purposes of the scheme. Where appropriate you should submit one IACS AAA for all your farms and the main farm code you enter on your SPS 3 claim form should be the same main farm code you have entered/will enter on the IACS AAA. Please refer to the 2003 IACS Explanatory Booklet for further information.
You may authorise an agent to act for you and sign the claim forms. A form (AA1) is available for this purpose from your SEERAD Area Office. However, as the producer, you will be responsible for any penalties that might result from breaches of the rules. The claim form must bear the name and address of the producer who is eligible to receive the payment.
3 Claiming Premium
All claims must be submitted on a Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Claim Form (SPS 3). You can get copies from SEERAD's SPS section in Edinburgh.
To be eligible under the 2003 Scheme year the animal must be slaughtered between 1 January and 31 December 2003 (inclusive), and no later than one month from the date the animal left your holding or from the date it was sold, whichever is sooner. This may include animals which left your holding during December 2002.
For a veal calf slaughtered at 5 or 6 months old to be eligible for premium, the carcass must weigh less than 160 kilograms. Veal carcasses are to be weighed after skinning, evisceration and bleeding, without the head or the feet but with the liver, kidneys and kidney fat. The weight to be stated on the claim form is the weight of the carcass after chilling, or the warm weight of the carcass reduced by 2%. If carcasses are presented without the liver, kidneys and/or kidney fat, their weight entered on the claim form must be increased by:
3.5 kilograms for the liver;
0.5 kilograms for the kidneys;
3.5 kilograms for the kidney fat.
3.1 Maximum number of claims
You may lodge a maximum of 12 claims for calves which have been slaughtered during the 2003 Scheme year.
The 12 claims may be submitted at any time between 1 January 2003 and 29 February 2004 provided that you meet the claim submission deadline. (see Section 4).
3.2 Animals which end retention in December
An animal ending its retention period after 1 December may be slaughtered outside the Scheme year which you specify on your claim form. If an animal is slaughtered in the year following the Scheme year specified on your claim form, we will remove the animal from the claim without penalty. You may resubmit the animal(s) on a claim for the following Scheme year.
If an animal is slaughtered in the year preceding the year specified on your claim form, we will remove the animal from the claim and record it under a separate claim for the preceding Scheme year and notify you of this action, provided the 12 claim limit for the Scheme year has not already been reached. If the 12 claim limit for the Scheme year has been reached we will not pay premium on this animal.
3.3 Supporting documentation
For each animal claimed, you must attach a blank movement card from the animal's passport.
Before animals leave your holding for slaughter remember to retain a movement card to submit with your claim for Veal Calf Slaughter Premium, we will be unable to accept your claim without it.
Do not send us the animal's passport. The passport must be completed in the usual way and given to the purchaser. A Movement card (if applicable) must still be completed and sent to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) recording the animal's movement off your holding.
For calves killed at 5 or 6 months of age, you must attach documentation from the
slaughterhouse containing the following information:
The animals will only be eligible for Veal Calf Slaughter Premium if their carcass weight was less than 160 kilograms (taking into account the requirements set out in section 3 above).
4 Deadline for receipt of claims
The deadline for submission of claims for the 2003 Scheme year is six months after the date on which an animal ends its retention period or 29 February 2004, whichever is sooner. The retention period ends at midnight the day before the animal leaves the holding, or the day before it is sold, whichever is sooner.
4.1 Late claims
We will apply late claim penalties to individual animals where we receive the claim for an animal after the six month deadline or after 29 February 2004, whichever is sooner. We will reduce payment for each animal claimed late by 1% per working day, up to 25 calendar days after the deadline, unless you can give valid force majeure reasons for the late lodgement of your claim. If we receive a claim for an animal more than 25 calendar days late no payment will be made on that animal. Payments on other animals within the same claim which have been claimed timeously will not be affected.
Only in exceptional or abnormal circumstances, which could not be avoided by reasonable action, can a late claim be accepted under the force majeure provisions. We will consider each claim for force majeure on its merits. We are required by the EC to apply the force majeure criteria strictly. You must notify your SEERAD Area Office in writing and specifically request that force majeure be considered. Your letter detailing why you could not submit your claim on time must reach your SEERAD Area Office within 10 working days of you being able to tell us, together with any detailed documentary evidence. If you do not notify your SEERAD Area Office in time we cannot consider your case for force majeure.
5 Retention Period
An animal on which you claim Veal Calf Slaughter Premium must have been kept on your holding for a set retention period as shown below:
For calves slaughtered age 3 to 6 months old (inclusive) the retention period is 2 months immediately prior to the animal leaving your holding for slaughter or prior to being sold, whichever is sooner.
For calves slaughtered at more than 1 month and less than 3 months old the retention period is 1 month immediately prior to the animal leaving your holding for slaughter or prior to being sold, whichever is sooner.
The retention period ends at midnight the day before the animal leaves the holding, or the day before it is sold, whichever is sooner.
If you sell an animal, for example at a market, but it is returned to your holding before being collected by the purchaser the retention period will end at midnight the day before the sale. If an animal is returned to your holding either unsold or not slaughtered, then the retention period is not interrupted provided there has been no change in ownership.
6 Proof of slaughter
6.1 Approved abattoirs
To be eligible, animals must be slaughtered at an abattoir registered for the SPS by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in Carlisle. A list of Veal Calf Slaughter Premium Scheme registered abattoirs can be obtained from the RPA. (See Annex A for contact numbers).
6.2 Date of slaughter
To be eligible for Veal Calf Slaughter Premium an animal must be slaughtered before the expiry of one month of the date it ended its retention period (see section 5). For example, if an animal leaves your holding on 15 January it must be slaughtered on or before 14 February. We shall check each claim to ensure that each claimed animal is slaughtered before the end of one month from the end of the retention period.
If a claimed animal is not killed before the expiry of one month from the end of the retention period, we shall notify you. Veal Calf Slaughter Premium will not be paid on the animal.
6.3 Casualty animals
Animals which die or are killed on farm are not eligible for Veal Calf Slaughter Premium.
Similarly, animals which die en route to an abattoir are not eligible because they are not killed in an RPA registered abattoir.
6.4 BSE Offspring CulI animals
Cattle slaughtered under the BSE Offspring Cull are not eligible for VCSPS as they are slaughtered on farm.
6.5 TB reactors
Cattle identified as TB reactors are eligible for premium provided they meet all the eligibility criteria and have been killed in an RPA registered abattoir.
7 Withdrawals and notification of errors
You may withdraw an entire claim, or individual animals from a claim, provided you make your request in writing and we have not notified you of an inspection or of discrepancies in your claim.
7.2 Notified errors
After you submit your claim form you may realise you have included in error an animal that is ineligible for the premium claimed. You may avoid penalties if you inform your SEERAD Area Office, in writing, of the mistake as soon as you discover it, provided we have not notified you of an inspection or of discrepancies in your claim.
Please note that it is not possible to correct a mistake which would involve increasing the number of animals claimed.
8 Cattle inspections
We will check to make sure you comply with the rules of the Scheme. You must allow us to count and inspect your herd at any reasonable date and time. We may ask you to gather your animals at a convenient place on the holding and you must provide secure handling facilities to make an eartag check possible.
Inspection visits may occur without notice and more than once a year. If you refuse to allow an inspection, or if you obstruct an inspecting officer or fail to give reasonable assistance, you will not be paid subsidy and you may be prosecuted. Inspections will involve:
all cattle on the holding being inspected, regardless of whether they are to be the subject of a Veal Calf Slaughter Premium claim (or SPS claim) and the result compared with the number of such animals listed in your herd register and BCMS records;
a records check for animals claimed in the previous 12 months. We will check that all retention periods have been complied with;
a check of supporting documentation, for example purchase and sales receipts, slaughter certificates, to ensure farm records are accurate;
a check to ensure that animal movements have been notified to BCMS as required.
The law requires that you keep accurate and up-to-date records of all cattle on your holding and show them to our Inspector when they visit your holding. If your records do not support your current or previous claims you will be excluded from the Scheme for the current Scheme year and have to re-pay premium already paid, plus interest.
Failure to hold the correct passports for animals, incorrect eartags and/or failure to record animal details correctly may result in your claim being reduced or rejected.
Please see Section 10 for information on how irregularities found at inspection will affect your payments.
9 Record Keeping
You are required by the Cattle Identification Regulations 1998 (as amended) to keep a herd register giving details of all the cattle on your holding. You must keep your records up-to-date. If you do not, we will not pay you subsidy under the Livestock schemes. Also, the Trading Standards Department of your local authority has responsibility to enforce the law on herd records and cattle ear tags. The records should cover the following:
dates of birth;
dam's ear tag number (for animals born on your farm);
dates of arrival and where the animals have come from (if not born on your holding);
dates of departure from your holding and destination;
for animals born before 1 January 1998 if the ear tag number has changed the replacement ear tag number and the date of replacement.
If an animal has come from or is going to a market it is sufficient to record the market's address as the place of origin or destination.
When you submit your claim you will be required to give an undertaking to keep all records relating to this claim for 4 years together with any other relevant documents for example receipts of sales, purchase documents. To aid inspection of your claim, it would be helpful to keep a running total in the register of the cattle on your farm, distinguishing between males and females. You may keep the register in a manual or computerised form. We will inspect the herd register and other records in order to verify your claim. You are strongly advised to use the standard record format from the Scottish Executive website athttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/cattle.
10 Penalties and repayment of premium
Full guidance on penalties affecting the livestock subsidy schemes can be found in the booklet 'Livestock Subsidy Scheme Penalties from 2002'. This booklet can be obtained from your local SEERAD area office.
We must implement the Scheme strictly in accordance with the EC rules and we do not have discretion to vary these rules to meet individual cases of hardship. Please make sure that you understand your obligations and seek professional advice if necessary.
If you do not comply with the rules of the Scheme and the undertakings you have given you will lose some or all of your premium. If you have already been paid premium, you will have to repay it in full, or in part, with interest. Details of the calculation of interest will be given if a recovery of premium has to be made.
If you knowingly or recklessly make a false statement for the purpose of obtaining premium for yourself or another person you also risk prosecution.
10.1 Use of prohibited substances
You may be excluded from the VCSPS (and the SPS) if we find prohibited substances (for example hormones) have been used on your cattle or are found on your premises; or if substances (for example medicines), of which residues are found in your cattle, have been used illegally or are found to be on your premises illegally. Repeat offenders may be excluded for up to 5 years. If you prevent us from carrying out inspections or sampling to check these provisions, you may again be excluded from the Scheme.
10.2 Animals on which penalties will not be applied
If we accept that the following circumstances were beyond your control we will not pay premium on the animal(s) concerned and no penalties will be applied to valid animals on the claim.
animals not slaughtered;
animals not slaughtered before the expiry of one month;
animals not slaughtered at an abattoir registered for the VCSPS;
animals for which all the necessary kill details have not been recorded on the BCMS computer database;
animals slaughtered in wrong Scheme year.
11 Declarations and Undertakings
You should read carefully the Declarations and Undertakings listed on the claim form before you submit a claim.
Please note that an additional declaration has been included in the claim form for the 2003 Scheme onwards. You must declare that the data kept on the cattle tracing database relating to your animals is correct and complete and that you will rectify anything that is not. You must also declare that you will update all movements relating to your holdings as and when they occur.
To check the data held on the database for your animals you can either visit CTS Online at www.bcms.gov.uk or request the details from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) by phoning them on 0845 0501234.
We will make payments to your nominated bank account. If you want to change your bank information you should complete and return a BACS1 form, which is available from your SEERAD Area Office.
Your payment will be in sterling based on 50 Euros per animal using the average rate of exchange in December 2002. At the rate of exchange on 1 November 2002, this would be worth 31.89 per animal.
The EC rules do not allow us to make payment before 16 October 2003. After that we will normally pay 60% of the premium claimed on eligible animals. Early in 2004 we will calculate whether any reduction to claims arising from the regional ceiling is necessary. We will then pay the balance between April and June 2004.
12.1 Regional ceiling
There is an overall UK limit on the number of animals on which Veal Calf Slaughter Premium can be paid in any Scheme year. If the number of animals claimed exceeds the UK limit, the number of animals on which each producer will be paid will be scaled back proportionately.
Modulation is the recycling of a small proportion of direct payments made to farmers to help fund the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). Every pound recycled in this way will be matched by a further pound from the Government and the total returned through the SRDP and other measures, to the rural economy.
Modulation is set at 3.5% for the 2003 Scheme year. The payment advice letter we send you will detail the amount by which your payment has been modulated.
13 Citizens Charter targets
We start to process your claim for premium when we receive your form, correctly completed and with supporting documents. Our targets are then:
to issue you with a claim acknowledgement letter, within 14 days;
to make advance payments by 31 December 2003 if the claim is received by 16 October;
to make advance payments within ten weeks of receipt if the claim is received after 16 October;
to make balance payments by 30 June in the year following the scheme year.
14 Data Protection Act 1998
The VCSPS is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. The Data Controller is SEERAD.
SEERAD as Data Controllers under the Data Protection Act 1998 are collecting the data from VCSPS claim forms and the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) for the purpose of administering the VCSPS and other Community based aid schemes. We will only disclose the information we receive from you to our authorised agents and others as the law permits and in accordance with Section A of the 2003 IACS AAA.
15 Appeals/Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint about the service we provide, you should proceed as follows:-
15.1 - Appeals against Decisions
If you are not sure why you have been penalised or do not fully understand a decision made by this department in connection with your claim, you should contact your SEERAD Area Office for a fuller explanation.
If you are not satisfied with this explanation and wish the decision to be reviewed you can do so under the EU Agricultural Subsidy Schemes Appeals procedure. You have 60 calendar days from the date of the SEERAD decision letter in which to submit your appeal. The Appeals procedure consists of 3 stages: an in-house review, an external panel review and an appeal to the Scottish Land Court.
Full information on the appeals system procedures, including the timescale allowed for making an appeal, is given in the Department's information leaflet AP (EL) June 2001 which was issued to all farmers. Further copies are available from Area Offices and from the Appeals Secretariat and on the Department's website. Any questions should be addressed to the Appeals Secretariat, SEERAD, 47 Robb's Loan, Edinburgh, EH14 1TY. Please note that the appeals procedure does not handle complaints about standard of service.
15.2 Complaints about standard of service
If you have a complaint about the standard of service we offer, you should proceed as follows:
You may register a complaint by letter, by telephone or in person. If you want your complaint considered by a more senior officer, please write to the Principal Agricultural Officer at your local Area Office. He will deal with the complaint if his staff are involved or forward it to the appropriate person. It will help us to investigate your complaint if you set out the facts as fully as possible, quoting your main farm code number. We will acknowledge your complaint by return, investigate it properly and aim to reply within two weeks.
If you are dissatisfied with the response received, please write to the Chief Agricultural Officer, The Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department, Pentland House, 47 Robb's Loan, Edinburgh EH14 1TY.
You may also ask your Member of the Scottish Parliament or alternatively your Member of the UK Parliament to take up your complaint with the Minister for Rural Development, SEERAD, Pentland House, 47 Robb's Loan, Edinburgh EH14 1TY.
You, or a representative authorised by you to complain on your behalf, may also ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman for your complaint to be investigated. Your representative may be an MSP, local councillor or any person you consider suitable to represent your interests. Your complaint must be submitted to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 23 Walker Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HX within 12 months after the day on which you first had notice of the matter complained of. Further information regarding the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is available at http://www.scottishombudsman.org.uk
On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the service we have provided, or wish to highlight some exceptional performance, we would be happy to hear from you. Should you have suggestions about how we can build on the service we provide, these will also be welcomed.
16 Legal base
The general rules for the operation of the VCSPS are laid down in Council Regulation 1254/1999 on the common organisation of the market in beef and veal. The detailed rules for the application of the VCSPS are provided for in Commission Regulation 2342/1999 as amended. The detailed rules for applying the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) for certain community aid schemes is provided for in Commission Regulation 2419/2001.
For any further specific information not covered by these Guidance Notes please write to your SEERAD Area Office or alternatively the SPS Section in Edinburgh.
Whilst we aim to provide as much guidance as possible on the Scheme, we cannot guarantee that these Notes for Guidance provide a definitive statement of the law (which only the European Court of Justice can give), nor can this substitute for specific advice on individual legal questions.
Annex A: LIST OF USEFUL ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS
47 Robb's Loan
Edinburgh EH14 1TY
Tel No: (0131) 244-6406
Fax No:(0131) 244-6277
Rural Payments Agency (RPA)
Eden Bridge House
Tel No: (01228) 523-400
Fax No:(01228) 640-241
LIST OF SEERAD AREA OFFICES
Tel No:(01292) 610188
Fax No: (01292) 611483
Isle of Benbecula
Tel No: (01870) 602346
Fax No: (01870) 602077
161 Brooms Road
Tel No: (01387)255292
Fax No: (01387) 267116
This office has relocated to Perth
32 Reidhaven Street
Tel No: (01343) 547514
Fax No: (01343) 552312
Tel No: (01896) 758333
Fax No: (01896) 754460
3 Wellhall Road
Tel No: (01698) 281166
Fax No: (01698) 285277
28 Longman Road
Tel No: (01463) 234141
Fax No: (01463) 714697
10 Keith Street
Tel No: (01851) 702392
Fax No: (01851) 705793
Tel No: (01856) 875444
Fax No: (01856) 873309
Tel No: (01549) 402167
Fax No: (01549) 402117
Tel No: (01595) 695054
Fax No: (01595) 694254
Tel No: (01631) 563071
Fax No: (01631) 566756
Broxden Business Park
Tel No: (01738) 602000
Fax No: (01738) 602001
Tel No: (01478) 612516
Fax No: (01478) 613128
This office has relocated to Perth
Tel No: (01467) 626222
Fax No: (01467) 626217
Tel No: (01847) 893104
Fax No: (01847) 895983