ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks said it is time to examine increased payment for the sheep sector, in light of rural development underspend.
He outlined that the ICSA believe the time is now right to explore enhancing the Sheep Welfare Scheme.
He welcomed the advance payment of €15.1 million made to 18,600 sheep farmers under year two of the Sheep Welfare Scheme.
Referring to the more than €300m in unspent funds under the TAMS II scheme Mr Brooks said, “ICSA would like to see the sheep sector get a fair share of that underspend and while the scheme is delivering in its current format, there is scope to increase payment levels.”
He said that this would see sheep farmers "rewarded for undertaking additional tasks.”
Similar to BEEP
Mr Brooks argues the precedent has been set for this under the Beef Data & Genomics Programme (BDGP) with the addition of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme.
“A similar bolt-on action or menu of actions under the Sheep Welfare Scheme would work just as well and deliver more benefits to the sheep sector as a whole.”