Sheep Reports

Sheep Council Report April 2021

Sheep in Wicklow

Market Report

  • Lamb Price: QA hoggets are making €7.50 to €7.70/kg with higher deals for larger lots and groups. Spring Lamb are making €7.90 to €8.20/kg. Cull ewe prices are ranging from €3.00 to €3.40kg in general
  • Supplies: The kill to-date is back 43,721 or 8% on 2020 with the total kill back 53,809 or 8%
  • Market Conditions; Lamb have performed very well in the supermarket trade throughout the year. Factory demand is strong with numbers remaining tight. Competition between factory agents and wholesalers in marts is ensuring mart prices are easily keeping pace and in cases surpassing what factories are offering some farmers. 
  • Ramadan; Ramadan starts on 12th April and will create further demand for lamb
  • Increased QA Bonus: IFA continue to pursue an increase in the QA bonus to 30c/kg and have discussions with Bord Bia and factory representatives on the issue 
  • Farmers are encouraged to sell hard while moving hogget’s and lambs as they become fit.
  • IFA publish lamb price updates twice weekly and all of the latest data is available at
  • Weekly kill data:

Sheep Welfare Scheme 

  • IFA called on the Minister to address the issue of new entrants to the scheme and have DAFM on the issue
  • New entrants who entered the scheme since 2016, and who were still in the process of building their flock numbers in 2017, must be provided with a later reference year that reflects the full level of activity on their farms
  • New entrants who opted not to join the scheme since 2016 must be provided with the opportunity to join the 2021 scheme in recognition of the prohibitive impact of the reference period methodology for farmers entering the sector
  • New entrants who began sheep farming in 2020 to be provided with a rolling reference number for the period the flock is being established.
  • IFA are seeking acceptance of the principal that new entrants are given time to fully develop their flock numbers while participating in the scheme
  • IFA continue to pursue €30/ewe payment

Dog Control

  • Around 2500 ‘No dogs allowed’ posters were provided to farmers across the country through their sheep committee representative as part of the ongoing dog control campaign.
  • Committee members have promoted the campaign on social media outlets and regular print media and radio including a segment on Crime Watch.
  • The campaign has gained huge traction in the media through the work of the committee including with media outlets in the UK and is a critical step in the process to get Government to put in place the appropriate legislation and controls for dog owners
  • The latest report on the implementation of the Control of Dogs Act shows only 217,261 dogs are licensed out of an estimated 800,000 dogs in the country.  The reality is nobody knows how many dogs there are because of the lack of enforcement.
  • Scotland has recently passed legislation that means dog owners can now be fined up to £5,000 or jailed for six months. 
  • IFA have called on the Government to put serious resources into microchipping and an adequate dog warden service. All dogs are legally required to be micro chipped and have a licence however this is not being enforced.
  • IFA have called for a national ownership database for all dogs that allows those responsible for them be identified.
  • IFA have called for appropriate sanctions to act as a deterrent for those who allow their animals to cause this devastation on sheep farms and for resources to be put in place to enforce these sanctions.
  • Following IFA’s #BringBackBonzo campaign which began in 2019, DAFM have launched a re-worked TV ad from the 1980s on sheep worrying. It was a welcome first step but IFA called for funding to drive awareness of the advert. 

Upcoming issues

  • Ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed Campaign’ 
  • €30/ewe payment
  • CAP
  • Utilisation of €100,000 fund to investigate outlets for wool
  • Develop Sheep Industry Working Group
  • National strategic plans 
  • Ongoing contact with Bord Bia, lamb factories and MII to progress IFA’s calls to advance the Quality Assurance bonus to 30c/kg in order to fairly reward those in the scheme
  • Ongoing contact with Sheep Ireland 
Sean Dennehy 
Anna Daly/James Walsh 
Policy Executives 
Tomas Bourke 
Senior Policy Executive 

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