The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that 17,167 farmers applied for the National Sheep Welfare Scheme up to the closing date at midnight on Tuesday 21 May.

The scheme remains open for late applications up to 15 June 2024.

The National Sheep Welfare Scheme complements the multi-annual Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) funded under Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan until 2027 and has a budget of €15m in 2024. Participants in the National Sheep Welfare Scheme are required to complete two actions to receive the full payment of up to €8 per ewe.

The minister said: “I secured an additional €15m in budget 2024 for the sheep sector and I am delighted to see such strong take-up of the scheme with the 17,167 applications applying on almost two million ewes.”

“It is really important that applicants carry out their two selected actions in compliance with the terms and conditions of the scheme and that they accurately record those within the scheme action record sheets which my Department will issue to approved applicants over the coming months.”