Year two of the Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) has opened for applications from new entrants, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced.

The scheme pays €12 per breeding ewe.

For the purposes of year two of the scheme, a new entrant to this scheme is defined as an applicant who has applied for a new flock number within the period from 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2023.

A new entrant can also be an applicant with an existing flock number who has not held or traded in sheep for a three-year period from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2023, the Department of Agriculture said.

Farmers who were accepted into year one of the scheme will automatically be enrolled into year two and subsequent years of the scheme.


Under the scheme, farmers must complete two of the actions outlined in the table below.

“This is the second year of the SIS, a scheme supporting animal health and welfare that is building on the progress made by its predecessor, the Sheep Welfare Scheme,” the Minister said.

“The annual opening for new entrants that I have facilitated in this scheme demonstrates the continuing commitment of this Government to the sheep sector for the coming years.

"I welcome the opening of the application process for entry to year two of the SIS for qualifying new entrants and encourage them to apply,” he said.


The scheme is funded under Ireland’s CAP strategic plan 2023-2027 and provides support to sheep farmers for carrying out actions that improve animal health and welfare in the sheep sector and has a budget allocation of €100m.

Applications must be made on and the closing date for new entrants to apply is 5pm on 29 February 2024.