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€15m advance payments under Year 2 of Sheep Welfare Scheme announced

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The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, has announced that advance payments under year 2 Sheep Welfare Scheme have commenced on time this week to all eligible farmers.

The Minister confirmed the rate for the advance payment was again set at 85%.  The Scheme is co-funded by the European Union as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.

Minister Creed indicated that: “A total of €15.1 million is now issuing to some 18,600 farmers, providing a significant financial boost to the individual farmers and the sheep sector in general”. 

The Minister added: “The scheme, which was a key commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government, reflects the commitment of the Government to the sheep sector in Ireland, and will make an important contribution to the sustainability of the sheep sector”.

Minister Creed urged any farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department immediately in order to facilitate payment. “Year three of the Scheme will be opening in the coming weeks and my Department will be in contact with farmers shortly to advise them of this.  At that stage, there will also be an opportunity for new entrants to the sector to join the scheme.”