IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman John Lynskey has welcomed the statement from the Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed at the IFA AGM in Dublin today that he would encourage all sheep farmers with ewes to apply for the new €10 per ewe sheep welfare scheme negotiated by IFA. The closing date for application to the scheme is January 31st.
John Lynskey said there are strong farmer attendances at Department of Agriculture meetings on the scheme around the country and very positive interest in the scheme. He said the IFA is strongly encouraging all sheep farmers with ewes to make an application under the scheme as soon as possible.
John Lynskey said the Department of Agriculture has confirmed to the IFA that sheep farmers may use ewe lambs from the previous year, once they are over 12 months of age, to qualify as replacement for ewes applied on under the scheme at inspection time. He said farmers who apply on ewes in January, may replace those ewes with ewe lambs once they reach 12 months of age, and maintain eligible numbers in the scheme. He said, in general, this would be in the spring time following the main lambing season. John Lynskey said the Department needs to adopt a flexible approach in this area, especially for farmers breeding their own replacements.
IFA meetings on the sheep scheme
John Lynskey said the IFA has organised three additional meetings on the new €10 per ewe sheep scheme next week in Tullamore, Co Offaly (Monday 23rd Januray), Bunclody, Co Wexford (Tuesday 24th January) and Tuam Co Galway (Thursday 26th January). Inviting all sheep farmers to these meetings, he said there would be speakers from the IFA, Department of Agriculture, the Farmers Journal and Bord Bia.