Sheep farmers should not be left out of any support packages aimed at mitigating the impact of Covid-19, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

This comes after news broke today that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced cabinet approval for an allocation of €50 million to provide for a support scheme for beef finishing farms.

Reacting to this news, the ICSA sheep chairman, Sean McNamara, said: “Sheep farmers have been hit with the same market instability as beef farmers and they should be entitled to receive some comparable aid.

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“A family farm support package would be more in order to deal with the fallout from Covid-19.

All family farms have taken a big financial hit as a result of Covid-19. Therefore, all family farms should be recognised in any forthcoming support package.

“In the past, we have had exceptional aid in the form of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme; however, despite repeated requests, sheep farmers have got nothing.

“Sheep farmers must not be forgotten in all of this. We will not stand back and be ignored once again,” McNamara concluded.