The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) is seeking an extension to the deadlines for completing Sheep Welfare Scheme and Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme Sucklers faecal egg count measures.

The deadlines currently stand at 30 September and 3 October respectively, which the IFA has said will leave some farmers unable to complete the actions due to delays being experienced at lab level.

The association’s president Tim Cullinan urged the Department of Agriculture to show flexibility around this deadline and stated that farmers should not be penalised for missing the date.

'Lengthy delays'

“There are lengthy delays in getting samples tested across the country and, in some cases, labs cannot facilitate farmers who are left with no opportunity to complete the action before the deadline date,” Cullinan commented.

“Samples received/tested after these dates must be accepted by the Department without affecting eligibility for scheme payments, as the overall objective of the measure will have been met.”