Sheep Welfare Scheme

Sheep Welfare Scheme

The €25m Sheep Welfare Scheme provides a €10 per ewe payment to sheep farmers for welfare measures.

The Sheep Welfare Scheme provides €10 per ewe to farmers for undertaking actions to make a positive contribution to flock welfare. The scheme began in 2016 and is due to run to 2020.

How the scheme works

Farmers are required to choose two actions to improve the overall welfare of a flock from a menus of options. If you have lowland flock you must choose from the menu for lowland stock, if you have hill stock, you must choose from the hill stock menu.  These actions must be completed over a 12 month period and you must record the actions taken and maintain records – full details of requirements of the scheme are available in the Terms and Conditions.

In return for completing these actions, the Sheep Welfare Scheme provides a payment of €10 per breeding ewe. The number of ewes for which you will be paid is based on the average number on your farm in 2014 and 2015.

There is provision for new entrants to farming and to sheep farming to join the scheme and in the case of new entrants, the reference number of ewes for payment will be based on their most recent sheep census return or on a case-by-case basis.


The actions for the scheme are outlined below.

If you have more than 50% lowland ewes you must choose options for lowland flocks. If you have more than 50% hill type ewes you must choose from the options for hill flocks.

You must choose one action from Category A plus one action from one Category B.

These choices must be adhered to for the duration of the scheme – it is not possible change actions once they are chosen.

Lowland Flock Hill Flock
Category A Category A
Lameness Control Mineral Supplementation Ewes post mating
Mineral Supplementation Ewes post mating Meal feeding lambs post weaning*
Category B Category B
Parasite Control (Faecal Egg Count) Parasite Control (Faecal Egg Count)
Flystrike control Mineral Supplementation Lambs Pre weaning*
Scanning Scanning


A full description of all of the action options and how and when they must be carried out can be found in the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme 

Application forms for the sheep scheme will be sent to all sheep farmers annually to allow you to confirm continued participation or to opt out. If you opt out of the scheme you will not be able to rejoin.

Payments of €10 per ewe will be made annually to each applicant who has satisfactorily completed the requirements of the scheme.

Get full details of the Scheme

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