The Sheep Improvement Scheme provides financial support to farmers for taking extra steps to improve the welfare of their flock. Farmers get €12 per breeding ewe for completing flock welfare measures.
How to Qualify
To qualify for the scheme you must:
• submit a Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) application for each year of scheme participation
• submit a sheep census return for each year during the lifetime of the scheme - an exception is made for new entrants in year of entry
• have an active herd number - or be a new entrant - and keep breeding ewes
• maintain the required number of breeding ewes during the scheme
You must complete two welfare measures to qualify for payment.
It will also be necessary to complete the Genotyped Ram action at least once within the first three years of scheme participation.
If you have a reference number of breeding ewes of 150 breeding ewes or less, you will only need to complete the Genotyped Ram action once. If you have a reference number greater than 150, you will have to complete the Genotyped Ram action twice over the lifetime of the scheme, once within the first three years of the scheme and once in any subsequent scheme year.
The targeted welfare areas include:
• lameness control
• mineral supplementation of ewes post mating
• meal feeding lambs post weaning
• parasite control (faecal egg count)
• management of pregnant ewes (scanning)
• flystrike control
• mineral supplementation of lambs pre-weaning
• Genotyped Ram Action
You must also maintain the necessary records and comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Sheep Improvement Scheme including those undertaking parasite control must use the approved list of laboratories for sampling.
The Sheep Improvement Scheme has been introduced to enhance animal health and welfare in the sheep sector and requires farmers to go beyond mandatory standards. These are the conditions of the scheme.
Sheep Improvement Scheme Year 1 Terms and Conditions