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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

Counting sheep: did you know the sheep census was a thing?

One sheep, two sheep, three sheep…

"Stay still so I can count ye"
Image: Sheep

THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture has extended the deadline for the 2013 sheep census.

The extension will give farmers an extra two weeks to count sheep.

The census requires all of Ireland’s 40,000 sheep flock owners to declare their flocks.

Last year, the census was returned by 95 per cent of farmers, who reported a total of over 3.5 million sheep. That number was up on the previous five years, but down on the highs of 2005, when there were over four million sheep in the country.

Donegal has the most sheep in Ireland, with over 450,000.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said it was “essential” that the forms are completed.

“It’s essential that farmers take time to fully and accurately complete the census, as failure to do so may prevent the ordering of sheep tags or lead to cross compliance penalties and, indeed, could affect certain scheme applications.”

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