Year 4 of Sheep Welfare Scheme to open on February 1

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that the fourth year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme will open on February 1.

Making the announcement this morning, Wednesday, January 15, the department said that existing participants in the scheme will be automatically enrolled in year four, and will not need to take any action should they wish to remain in the scheme.

The Sheep Welfare Scheme is aimed at providing support to farmers for “undertaking actions which make a positive contribution to flock welfare”. The scheme was originally launched in December 2016.

Information packs containing terms and conditions of the scheme in year four, along with Action Record books for 2020, will shortly be issuing from the department to existing participants in the scheme.

Applications for new entrants are now being accepted.

For the purpose of the scheme, a new entrant to sheep farming is defined as an applicant “who has applied for a new herd number from January 1, 2020 and prior to December 31, 2020; or an applicant with an existing herd number who has not held or traded in sheep for a two year period up to October 31 preceding the scheme year”.

The department is urging all eligible new entrants to the sheep sector to return their forms by February 1.