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 Full text 
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP - European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development - Common organisation of the markets in agricultural products - Direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the CAP - Transitional provisions on support for rural development (debate)

  John Stuart Agnew, on behalf of the EFD Group. – Madam President, in this process of common agricultural policy reform, the Commission appears to be misusing its power of the delegated act. For example, after weeks of discussion, Parliament made it clear that there was agreement on headage payments for sheep in certain circumstances. The Commission has restricted this to female sheep. I know that we in the Committee on Agriculture had a debate last year on the importance of females in agriculture, but is this not taking things just a little bit too far? If I look round this room I can distinguish males from females quickly in most circumstances, but the same cannot be said in relation to a flock of 1 000 commercial sheep. When the EU inspector turns up on the farm at a moment’s notice to have a look, those sheep have to be gathered up and the inspector will have to get down on his knees and lift the tail of every single sheep – which is a dirty and smelly job – to assess the gender of that sheep. The weather won’t be very nice either. Commissioner, which of your gang is going to volunteer to do that job?

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