Suspected sheep theft in Co Mayo
A farmer in Co Mayo is counting the cost after a dozen of his sheep have gone missing - suspected stolen.

Twelve Blackface Mayo mountain sheep are missing from Doontursk, Newport, Co Mayo, since before Christmas.

The ewes are all between two and four years old and have distinctive markings. They are marked with a blue dot on their sides, and some also have a red dot on their necks. The tips of each ear have also been notched and a half moon has been notched on the back of the right ear. Owner Francis Cussack says a reward will be offered for the return of or any information on the sheep. Cussack can be contacted on 087-910 0388.

‘Even docile dogs can be killers’ – owners urged to be responsible
Over the coming months some 2.5m lambs will be born on Irish farms. Flocks are extremely vulnerable to dog attacks at this time of the year.

Dog owners have been urged to be responsible ahead of the main lambing season.

Minister of State with Responsibility for Dog Control Séan Canney highlighted that even the most docile of dogs can turn into killers.

Minister Canney said owners must be mindful that responsibilities for dog ownership not only include feeding and housing and pets, but also controlling them at all times.

He said dogs should never be let out unsupervised, especially at night.

Attacks

Canney highlighted the fact that dogs can and do cause real serious injuries to sheep which has a knock-on emotional and financial effect on farmers and their families.

Minister Canney added: “We are all aware of the terrible dog attacks on sheep over the last number of years. This is not acceptable.

"Dog wardens and the Garda Síochána are doing what they can, but they cannot be in every part of the country at all times.

“The solution rests with dog owners. Whether you live in or near the countryside or visit it for recreational purposes, I ask that you be on guard the whole time.

"Do not give your dog the opportunity to attack sheep and cause distress and pain to both sheep flocks and their owners.’’

Liable

Under the Control of Dogs Act owners are held liable to compensate farmers for economic losses sustained as a result of a dog attack.

Over the coming months some 2.5m lambs will be born on Irish farms. Flocks are extremely vulnerable to dog attacks at this time of the year.

Dog owners are asked to be particularly vigilant and care should be taken to ensure all dogs are secure at night time.

New Zealand lamb access to EU to halve post-Brexit
After BrexIt, the access for tariff-free New Zealand lamb will be split 50:50 between the UK and EU.

The volume of New Zealand lamb that can enter the EU tariff-free will halve after Brexit.

New Zealand can send 228,254t of sheepmeat tariff-free to Europe under existing Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs).

On Wednesday, the EU Parliament voted to divide the quotas between the EU and the UK post-Brexit depending on current usage.

The UK takes 50% of New Zealand lamb imported into the EU.

New Zealand’s access to the UK and EU will now be 114,116t each.

Sheep Welfare Scheme payments delayed
Farmers waiting on advance 2018 Sheep Welfare Scheme funds will have to hold out until March or April for payment.

Remaining Sheep Welfare Scheme payments delayed

Advance payments for the 2018 Sheep Welfare Scheme (year two) have issued to 18,607 farmers in December.

An estimated 2,000 farmers have still not received their advance payments and the Irish Farmers Journal understands these farmers will not be paid until balancing payments are made to all participants in March or April of this year.

This week, the Minister for Agriculture announced the opening of year three of the scheme.