Seventy farmers had a penalty applied to their CAP direct payment in 2022 for their failure to adhere to sheep tagging requirements, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s cross-compliance inspection figures for last year, there were also a further 142 farms where sheep tagging breaches were identified but no penalty was applied.

The tagging breaches were identified following a total of 1,297 sheep identification and registration inspections carried out on farms by the Department in 2022.

Some 2023 of these also included the inspection of the cattle on the farm.

Common tagging irregularities found on sheep farms included sheep not being tagged correctly (with EID tags) or with any tags at all.

Flock register

A number of farmers inspected had also not maintained their flock register.

There were 164 farms where issues were found regarding the flock register, with 109 of these involving a direct payment penalty.

There were also 13 farms where breaches were identified by the Department involving the annual sheep census, with all 13 farmers receiving a penalty.