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Minister McConalogue announces commencement of Balancing Payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, today announced the commencement of the 15% balancing payments to all eligible farmers under year 6 (2022) of the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

The rollout of these balancing payments brings the total amount paid to over 17,500 farmers under the Sheep Welfare Scheme for 2022 to €17.3 million, 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.

The Minister stated:

“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 further added:

“The successor scheme to the Sheep Welfare Scheme is now in place, with the scheme starting on 1st February 2023. I am delighted with the uptake of the scheme, with over 19,000 farmers participating in Sheep Improvement Scheme. The introduction of this scheme demonstrates the commitment of this government to sheep farmers throughout Ireland.”

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