Farmers urged to get sheep census forms submitted on time

Farmers are being urged to complete their sheep and goat census for 2019 if they have yet to do so by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Reminding farmers of the looming deadline, ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara said:

“The closing date for paper-based applications is today, Friday, January 31 – but submissions can still be made online right up until Friday, February 14.

“It’s a busy time of the year – but, to avoid any payment issues later in the year, it’s vital to get this in on time,” the chairman stressed.

McNamara added that the ICSA is continuing to call on all political parties to commit to a second phase of the Sheep Welfare Scheme that would see a significant increase in financial benefit of the scheme to farmers.

“We need to ensure the scheme continues into 2021 and beyond, and we need to see the allocated budget doubled.

“The impact of market uncertainty around Brexit is well recognised in the cattle trade, but sheep farmers have been left to fend for themselves and many have barely managed to get through the last couple of years.

“The sheep scheme has worked well but it just hasn’t provided enough financial support to the sector – and this must be addressed,” the chairman concluded.