§ Mr. Breed
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what date farmers in the Shropshire area were given notification of the new arrangements for hill livestock payments; what the deadline was for applications for payments under this scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
The proposed hill farm allowance (HFA) for England was outlined in the IACS 2000 booklet, distributed to producers in March 2000. This explained that there was no need for producers to submit specific HFA claims. Detailed guidance, issued to English hill farmers in December 2000, reaffirmed that specific HFA claims are not required. Farmers in the Shropshire areas were treated no differently.
The deadline for submission of an IACS 2000 application was 15 May 2000 and lead to automatic consideration for HFA 2001 using data from IACS, the sheep annual premium scheme, the suckler cow premium scheme and details of milk quota held on 31 March 2000. Some hill farmers will have to supply additional data where we cannot assess automatically their eligibility for HFA payments. They were written to at the end of January and have three weeks in which to reply.