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Sheep Farmers have one more week to avail of the Sheep EID Tag Subsidy Scheme

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine wishes to remind sheep farmers that the closing date for the Sheep EID Tag Subsidy Scheme is 30 September 2019. 

Sheep farmers that have not ordered sheep tags since 1 October 2018 have just a short time left to complete their first order of electronic sheep tags to avail of a payment under the Sheep EID Tag Subsidy Scheme. 

The once-off Scheme has been in operation since 1 October 2018 and to-date payments of more than €1.4 million have been made to sheep farmers. 

Under the Scheme, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is subsidising by €1 the cost of each electronic tag purchased in the first electronic sheep tag order completed between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019, up to a maximum payment of €100 per person. A minimum order of 10 electronic tags is required for eligibility to the Scheme. 

Eligible tag orders can be for single electronic tags, the electronic element of EID tag sets or a combination of both, provided they are all completed on the same date. 

There is no need to apply for payment under the Scheme. DAFM systems determine eligibility and calculate payments due, based on the details of the completed eligible tag orders. Payments are made automatically to farmers in quarterly tranches, the first of which was paid in January 2019. Final payments in respect of eligible orders completed between 1July and 30 September 2019 will be paid at end- October 2019. 

New rules on the identification and movement of sheep have been in place since 1 June 2019. From that date, all sheep moved from any holding, without exception, must be identified electronically. 

Sheep moving directly to a slaughter plant from the holding of origin while aged under 12 months may be identified by means of a single electronic tag placed in the animals’ right ear. All other sheep movements (including movements to marts, farm-to-farm, to shows etc.) require sheep to be identified with a full EID set of tags compromising a single electronic tag in the animal’s right ear and a corresponding conventional tag bearing the same animal identification number, in the sheep’s left ear. Electronic bolus sets are also acceptable.  

With effect from 1 June 2019, single conventional tags are not valid for the identification of sheep under any circumstances. Remaining stocks of such tags should be carefully disposed of or alternatively, specific corresponding electronic tags can be ordered to make up full EID sets of tags.