The final 15% of the Sheep Welfare Scheme payments have commenced to all eligible farmers under year six (2022) of the scheme, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced.

The rollout of these balancing payments brings the total amount paid to over 17,500 farmers under the Sheep Welfare Scheme for 2022 to €17.3m, providing a significant financial boost to the individual farmers, the sheep sector in general and the wider rural economy.

The 85% advance payment issued to eligible farmers in November 2022.

“This is the final year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme, which was introduced in December 2016. These final payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme are an important support to sheep farmers in the delivery of key welfare actions and provides a financial boost to the individual farmers and the wider rural economy," the Minister said.

The successor scheme to the Sheep Welfare Scheme, the Sheep Improvement Scheme is now in place and over 19,000 farmers have signed up to participate.

In concluding, the Minister urged any farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department of Agriculture immediately to facilitate payment and confirmed that the Department will continue to issue payments on an ongoing basis as outstanding queries are resolved.