The new €8/ewe National Sheep Welfare Scheme is a practical scheme and rewards good actions on farms, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) sheep chair Adrian Gallagher has said.

He said the opening of the scheme this Monday is an important step in ensuring the levels of targeted support for sheep farmers reflects the enormous challenges in the sector.

This scheme, when combined with the Sheep Improvement Scheme, brings the total direct supports for sheep farmers to €20/ewe for this year, which is much needed and must be built on, he said.

The IFA sheep chair said it provides sheep farmers with the opportunity to receive payments on the maximum numbers of ewes by allowing the higher of the latest census figures or the average of the previous three years.


The scheme is based on two categories of actions, with two actions within each category all costed at €4/ewe, with participants selecting one action from each category to receive the full €8 payment.

The choice of category one actions is shearing or body condition scoring, with the category two actions providing the option to select clostridial vaccination or plunge dipping.

Gallagher said these are all important management practices on farms which this scheme supports and it is important all sheep farmers take the opportunity to participate in the scheme, which is open for applications from 8 April until 21 May.

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Applications open for new sheep welfare scheme