Sheep Reports

Sheep Council Report June 2021

Market Report

  • Lamb Price: Spring lambs are making €7.70/7.90kg. Cull Ewe prices are ranging from €3.20 to 3.50kg in general.
  • Supplies: 42,898 sheep slaughtered were at during week commencing 17/5/21 compared to 45,665 same week in 2020. Sheep slaughtering’s for 2021 are 7% down on 2020 at 901,843 head.
  • Market Conditions; Lamb has been performing well in the supermarket trade throughout this year especially on the run up to Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan.
  • Increased QA Bonus: IFA continue to pursue an increase in the QA bonus to 30c/kg and have had discussions with Bord Bia and factory representatives on the issue
  • Farmers are encouraged to sell hard while moving 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 had a constructive meeting with Minister McConalogue and senior DAFM officials on the sheep welfare scheme. 
  • 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
  • The need for an option of reference years was highlighted at the meeting with a particular emphasis on encouraging young farmers into the sheep sector. 
  • IFA called for farmers involved in the scheme to have an option of reference years including the original reference year, 2017 and 2019 to maximise the level of supports for sheep farmers can claim
  • 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

Dog Control

  • As part of the ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaign, IFA met with Minister McConalogue and Senior DAFM officials to discuss the need for appropriate legislation and controls for dog owners
  • 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.


  • Sheep farmers depend on Direct Payments for 130% of Family Farm Income, this must be recognized in the new CAP
  • The National Strategic Plans must recognoise the significant environmental benefits in addition to the production of high-quality food, provided by sheep farmers in often the most difficult and challenging farm land in the country that the DAFM are developing for the new CAP
  • IFA demands for sheep farmers in the CAP
    • Eco Schemes must provide farmers the opportunity to reclaim at a minimum the amount contributed by each farmer reflecting the higher environmental ambition that will be achieved and the increased production costs associated on sheep farms
    • Sheep farmers must receive a targeted ewe payment of €30/ewe 
  • National co-financing must be maximized in Pillar 2
  • The commitment in the Programme for Government of the €1.5b carbon tax monies must be honoured in full through meaningful Pillar 2 schemes for farmers

Meeting with Minister for Agriculture

  • Issues raised included;
    • SWS reference year
    • Dog attacks
    • Export of breeding sheep to NI
    • Collapse in the wool market
    • Industry working group for sheep
    • €30/ewe payment and inclusion of shearing as a measure

Upcoming issues

  • €30/ewe payment
  • CAP
  • National strategic plans 
  • Ongoing ‘No Dogs Allowed Campaign’ 
  • Utilisation of €100,000 fund to investigate outlets for wool
  • Develop Sheep Industry Working Group
  • 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 

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