The new National Sheep Welfare Scheme has today opened for applications, operating with a budget of €15 million.

This has been announced this afternoon by Agricultural Minister Charlie McConalogue.

Participants will be required to complete two actions in order to receive the full payment of €8 per ewe.

There are four possible measures included in the scheme, which are equally applicable to upland and lowland flocks, and grouped into two categories.

Category A regards the shearing or body condition scoring of ewes, which Category B considers the clostridial vaccination of ewes (or lambs if ewes are already vaccinated) or plunge dipping ewes.

Farmers who look to join the NSWS must indicate at application stage which options they intend to carry out by selecting one from each category.

The maximum number of breeding ewes eligible will be determined by the numbers declared for each participating flock in the sheep census returns from 2020 – 2023.

Today’s announcement has been welcomed by Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon. Deputy Dillon said:

“A priority for Government in Budget 2024 was to provide an additional payment for sheep farmers.

“Combined funding for the sheep sector through both CAP and national schemes will now result in a payment equivalent to €20 per ewe in 2024.

“This represents a doubling of the sheep payment from 2022 and is the highest payment ever provided.”


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