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There is still time to submit your 2018 Sheep and Goat Census - But Only Online

The deadline for the online submission of 2018 sheep and goat census datais 14 February 2019.  The closing date for receipt of paper based completed 2018 sheep and goat census forms returned by post was Thursday 31 January 2019.

Online submission of census returns can be donevia The online system provides confirmation when a census submission has been completed successfully.

Farmers who are not registered for online services can do so by logging on to  and clicking the option to register. As log-in details are issued by post, farmers using the system for the first time should register immediately to allow sufficient time for their log-on details to reach them in time.

Submission of a completed census is central to declaring that required stocking rates are being maintained and facilitates the drawing down of payments under schemes such as the Sheep Welfare Scheme, Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, AEOS, GLAS etc. For those postal returns received by the Department after the closing dates of 31 January 2019, and for online returns received by the Department after 14 February 2019, please note that the late return of 2018 census data may have implications for eligibility to certain DAFM schemes.

Notes for Editors

Annual Sheep and/or Goat Census 2018

  • Completion and return of the Annual Sheep and/or Goat Census 2018 forms is a legal obligation on the keeper.  Failure to return a completed form on time could impact on eligibility for certain DAFM schemes.
  • The onus is on the flock/herd keeper to make sure that completed census forms being returned by post are received on time. 

Extension of EID to All Sheep

  • Details of the changes relating to the extension of EID to all sheep are set out on the DAFM website under Animal Health & Welfare/ Animal Identification and Movement /Sheep /National Sheep Identification System / Extension of EID to all Sheep.
  • Under the new rules relating to the National Sheep Identification System, with effect from 1 June 2019, all sheep moving from any holding must be identified electronically.
  •  Lambs aged under 12 months of age moving directly to slaughter from the holding of birth may be identified with a single electronic tag in the animal’s right ear.
  • All other sheep must be identified with a full EID set of tags (i.e. an electronic tag bearing the individual number of the sheep in the right ear and a corresponding conventional tag bearing the same number in the left ear).
  • Electronic bolus sets will also be acceptable. Generally, only electronic tags can be purchased for sheep since 1 October 2018.


Date Released: 07 February 2019