Year three of the Sheep Welfare Scheme (SWS) will commence on 2 February with applications from new entrants to sheep farming accepted until Friday, 1 February.

Existing participants in the scheme will be automatically enrolled in year three and will not need to take any action should they wish to remain in the scheme.

The scheme defines a new entrant to sheep farming as an applicant who has applied for a new flock number from 1 January 2018 and prior to 31 December 2018.

An applicant with an existing flock number who has not held or traded sheep for a two-year period up to 31 October preceding the scheme year will also be considered a new entrant.

Positive contribution

Commenting on the reopening of the scheme, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed stated: “The Sheep Welfare Scheme provides support to farmers for undertaking actions which make a positive contribution to flock welfare.”

He said that information packs containing the 2019 terms and conditions along with the action record book will be shortly issued to existing participants.

Application forms can be obtained by contacting the SWS section of the Department by email at or via the Direct Payments Helpdesk at 076 1064420.

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