Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (Mainland and Islands)
This scheme helps maintain beef suckler herds at a level that sustains the commercial beef industry in Scotland.
The support provided will help the environmental and social benefits that arise from extensive beef suckler herds in Scotland.
The beef sector has accounted for 22 per cent of Scottish agricultural output over the last 10 years and beef production is the largest agricultural sector in Scotland. About 11,400 people are employed on beef cattle holdings.
- Full scheme guidance
- Non-compliance and penalties
- Appeals and complaints
Before you apply for this scheme, you should read the full scheme guidance. If you have any questions, please check with us before you submit an application.
If you need any help or assistance to use this guidance, you can book an appointment at your local area office.
22 December, 2016
We've updated the Eligibility section of the guidance to include some new information of duel purpose breeds.
For previous versions of the guidance, please check the scheme archive.
To be eligible for the scheme you must:
- maintain a suckler beef herd in Scotland
- be a sole producer or
- a company or
- a partnership or
- a group of these
We pay on calves that:
- you own or lease
- are at least 75 per cent beef bred
- are born on your Scottish holding and kept there continuously from birth for at least 30 days
- were born on or after 2 December, 2014
- have or had a valid cattle passport
- have not previously been paid or claimed under the Scottish Beef Scheme
To apply for support through this scheme you must have first submitted a Single Application Form for the same year. You can find out more about the Single Application Form using the link below.
There is no limit to the number of claims you can make.
For each animal you claim, you must include the address sheet that accompanies the animal's single sheet passport.
Completed forms should be sent to your local area office.
There are two rates of payment for this scheme, depending on where you are based.
- mainland – we estimate payments to be €103.50 per eligible animal
- island – we estimate payments to be €153.50 per eligible animal
The higher rate for Scottish islands reflects the challenges faced by beef producers in these areas.
These rates are the 2015 rates. The actual payment rates for 2016 will be based on the budget available being divided by the total number of eligible animals claimed (when known).
We will pay you in pounds sterling unless you tell us on your Single Application Form to pay you in euros.
Payments will be made to your business' nominated bank account using BACS.
We can only pay into a United Kingdom bank account held in the name of the business. You must provide your business' bank account details to allow us to pay you.
We aim to acknowledge your claim by letter within 14 days.
We will start making payments in April and aim to pay all eligible claims by 30 June following the end of each scheme year.
If you receive support from this scheme you will be subject to our inspections programme.
You can find out more about how and why we carry out inspections in our dedicated section.
The cattle you claim under the scheme will be inspected as part of our existing Cattle Identification Inspection programme.
Inspections can be held at any reasonable date and time. Our inspector may ask you to gather your animals at a convenient place on the holding. You must provide secure handling facilities to allow us to check each animal's ear tag.
If you refuse to let us carry out an inspection or do not give reasonable help to the inspector we will not pay your subsidy. You may also face prosecution.
At an inspection, we will check:
- all cattle on your holding and compare your herd register against Cattle Tracing System (CTS) records
- your animals are eligible for the scheme
- supporting documents, such as purchase and sales receipts and slaughter certificates
- CTS have been told about all animals movements
If we find you have not been following the scheme rules, you could face a penalty such as your payment being reduced or cancelled entirely.
It is important we take action where we do find that the requirements of the scheme have not been followed to make sure we are acting within European Commission law and avoid the Scottish Government being fined by the Commission.
If you knowingly make a false statement to receive payment for yourself or for someone else you may be prosecuted.
If we find a difference between the number of animals you claim in a scheme year and the number of animals that are eligible, we will reduce your payment by a percentage error rate.
To find the percentage error rate, we divide the number of ineligible animals found by the number of animals remaining eligible.
You may also face a penalty if you do not keep your land in good agricultural and environmental condition or if you do not keep to the statutory management requirements, which include the Cattle Identification Regulations.
If you are unhappy with a decision we have made regarding your application, you have the right to appeal.
Likewise, if you are unhappy with our service as a whole, we have a dedicated complaints procedure to help you resolve this.
If you have any questions about this scheme, please get in touch. Contact details can be found in our Contact us section.