The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) are calling for an extra 10 euros per ewe for hill flocks ahead of the Teagasc National Hill Sheep conference due to take place in Westport, Co.Mayo on Wednesday 21st February.
Speaking in advance of the conference, INHFA Vice President Brendan Joyce said that “with savings of €5 million of the €25 million welfare package in year one of the scheme and a similar level of saving lightly in year two, the Government must now increase the available budget and target it towards the hill sheep sector. This budget cannot be lost to the Sheep sector and must be delivered as promised.”
Justifying the increase, Joyce continued “delivering welfare measures in a hill flock situation can be very difficult and time consuming particularly for measures such as scanning and mineral supplementation where only small numbers of sheep can be gathered at one time, due to adverse weather conditions which has left the hill sheep farmers on their knees”.
Concluding the INHFA vice president said” hill flock owners need as much support as possible to sustain hill farming in the absence of a market for light hill lamb and in particular with independent farm income reports showing the hill sheep farming sectors to be one of the worst performing sectors financially speaking in Irish agriculture”.