15 NOVEMBER 2019
ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has said the financial losses incurred by sheep farmers during 2019 must be reflected in an increased payment through the Sheep Welfare Scheme and a BEAM type compensation scheme.
“The Sheep Welfare Scheme needs to be extended beyond this year and deliver a higher rate of payment. ICSA believes, at minimum, a payment of €15 per ewe must be facilitated. This can be done through a bolt-on mechanism to the scheme,” he said.
In conjunction with increased payments through the Sheep Welfare Scheme, Mr McNamara said a BEAM type scheme for sheep is also required. “It’s not just the beef sector that’s been badly affected by the never-ending uncertainty of Brexit; the sheep sector has been severely hit with lower prices too. Most fit lambs were sold below the cost of production this year. It’s high time the financial losses of sheep farmers were acknowledged, and compensation provided.”
“Planning for this must begin immediately and these payments combined must amount to more that a token payment. Token payments will not keep the sheep sector viable,” he said.