Up to 20 million euro is available to farmers who partake in the new Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS).The Scheme forms part of Ireland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027. It has been designed to support farmers to undertake actions that improve animal welfare, and is a replacement for the Sheep Welfare Scheme (SWS). The purpose of the scheme is to provide financial support to farmers who actively improve the welfare of their flock. Farmers can receive €12 per breeding ewe for completing flock welfare measures.

Act Now

It is important to act now in relation to the scheme. Existing sheep farmers who wish to participate must apply to join before the December deadline, which expires at midnight on the 19th. It will not be possible for existing sheep farmers to apply to join the scheme after this date or in subsequent years. However, there will be provision for new entrants to sheep farming as defined in the terms and conditions of the scheme to apply to join.

A significant change in SIS includes the implementation of a new reference number. This number is based on the number of breeding ewes declared on your sheep census returns over the period 2016 to 2021. Where 3 or more census returns have been submitted over this period, the reference number will be based on the average of the 3 years with the highest number of breeding ewes declared. If less than 3 years of data has been returned via the census, then the number will be based on the average of what has been returned and so forth. The actions required for compliance with the scheme are highlighted below.

Actions available for Lowland and Hill Flocks

Lowland Flock

Category A Action

Lameness Control

Mineral Supplementation Ewes Post Mating

Parasite Control (Faecal Egg Count)

Category B Action

Genotyped Ram**

Scanning and recording of results

Flystrike Control

Hill Flock

Category A Action

Mineral Supplementation Ewes Post Mating

Meal Feeding Lambs Post Weaning*

Parasite Control (Faecal Egg Count)

Category B Action

Genotyped Ram **

Scanning and recording of results

Mineral Supplementation Lambs Pre Weaning*

*Hill flocks may not choose both mineral supplementation of lambs and meal feeding of lambs post-weaning.

**The genotyped ram action is not completed for each year of the scheme.

Applications to the scheme can be made by the farmer or by a Farm Advisory System (FAS) approved Advisor via the application facility on www.agfood.ie. The closing date for the submission of applications is midnight on Monday 19 December 2022

How can Flockwatch help?


Recording Remedies

App Screen

Before you start: For full compliance with animal remedies recording regulations, you must record treatments AND purchases, but don’t worry, Flockwatch makes this easy.

> Tap the Orange Plus Button (+) in the bottom right-hand corner.

> Tap on the sheep treatment with tags or use the search bar at the top to filter to this option.

> Pick the Remedy from your remedies cabinet – If it’s not in your cabinet, simply tap on the orange plus button (+) and press on remedy purchase and you can select or scan your medicine in.
> Select the date the treatment was given.

> Fill out the rest of the treatment details such as administered by and the quantity given.

>Tap Next in the bottom right-hand corner.

Adding Remedy Flockwatch

> From here you If you have your Eid reader connected you can scan the sheep and it will automatically scan the sheep onto the sheep treatment record, If you don’t have an eid reader you can simply tap on the sheep tags and then press save.

You must record withdrawal periods in order to be compliant. When the withdrawal periods are recorded in Herdwatch, Herdwatch calculates the milk and meat withholding period for you.

If you record the withdrawal period during the remedy purchase then it will automatically flow down to the treatments. If the withdrawal periods are not pre-filled when you are recording a treatment, then its because you did not record them when creating the purchase. We recommend updating the purchase to include withdrawal periods.

We recommend you always record the treatment reason, there is a drop list which contains all the most common treatment reasons however you can also record in the notes if it something very unusual.

You too can join over 19,000 other farmers using Flockwatch & Herdwatch to simplify their farm management! Download the FREE app today by clicking the button below!