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Calls for ‘new and improved’ Sheep Welfare Scheme

A farm organisation has called on all political parties to commit to a “new and significantly improved” Sheep Welfare Scheme that would see a “doubling” of the financial benefit of the scheme to sheep farmers.

ICSA sheep chair, Sean McNamara, said: “2019 was a very tough year for sheep farmers and our losses were not compensated in any way. The sheep sector cannot be a political afterthought.”

Mr McNamara made his comments following the fourth and final year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme in its current format.

‘Bolt-on mechanisms’

“The scheme has worked well, so the basis is there for a new and improved version, and for it to deliver significantly higher payments.”

“ICSA believes that higher rates of payment can be facilitated through “bolt-on mechanisms” to the scheme, which would see sheep farmers rewarded for undertaking additional tasks.

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“What we need to see now is a genuine political commitment to ensure the viability of the sector,” McNamara concluded.

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