The deadline for receipt of 2021 sheep and goat census forms has been extended to 14 February 2022, according to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Announcing the extension, Minister McConalogue said some herd keepers experienced delays with receiving their census forms and, therefore, the Department has extended the date for postal returns.

The deadline for online submissions remains the same, also at 14 February.


While the postal deadline has been extended, Minister McConalogue highlighted that “farmers could always submit their forms online via where they would get real-time confirmation of successful submission”.

He described other benefits of completing the census online, including a facility to view census history, peace of mind that 2021 census details have been submitted successfully and no additional inconvenience or costs associated with registering a postal return.

He said sheep keepers registered for online services can also order books of sheep dispatch or movement documents online through the animal identification and movements (AIM) system.


Minister McConalogue said: “Notwithstanding the extended closing date, the onus remains with the flock or herd keeper to make sure that completed postal returns of census forms are received on time.

“Keepers should be aware that, in the case of dispute regarding postal returns, the only acceptable proof of postage is a Registered Post receipt. Postal certificates or Express post receipts are not acceptable as proof of postage.”

He reminded all registered sheep and goat herd keepers that it is a legal requirement to complete their census forms and that a failure to return a completed form on time could impact on eligibility for certain Department schemes.