Opening of New €8/ewe Scheme Important for Sheep Farmers – IFA

IFA National Sheep Chair Adrian Gallagher said the opening of the €8/ewe National Sheep Welfare Scheme today by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue is an important step in ensuring the levels of targeted support for sheep farmers reflects the enormous challenges in the sector.

He said this scheme when combined with the SIS brings the total direct supports for sheep farmers to €20/ewe for this year which is much needed and must be built on.

Adrian Gallaher said this new scheme has come about following an intensive campaign by IFA throughout last year highlighting the enormous income challenges on sheep farms.

The IFA National Sheep Chair said the scheme announced is a practical scheme, minimises leakage of monies by rewarding good practice actions on farms and 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 3 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. 

Adrian Gallagher said the choice of category 1 actions is shearing or Body Condition Scoring with the category two actions providing the option to select clostridial vaccination or plunge dipping. 

He 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 8th April until 21st May.

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