15 JANUARY 2020
ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has called on all political parties to commit to a new a significantly improved Sheep Welfare Scheme that would see a doubling of the financial benefit of the scheme to sheep farmers. “2019 was a very tough year for sheep farmers and our losses were not compensated in any way. The Sheep Welfare Scheme at least provides some support, but we need to see a commitment from all political parties that would ensure the scheme continues into 2021 and beyond, and that would see the allocated budget doubled. The sheep sector cannot be a political afterthought,” he said.
Mr McNamara made his comments following opening today of the fourth and final year of the Sheep Welfare Scheme in its current format.
Continuing Mr McNamara said, “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. What we need to see now is a genuine political commitment to ensure the viability of the sector.”