Go online to complete your sheep and goat inventories

Date published: 02 December 2021

The annual sheep and goat inventories will be completed entirely online again this year, with telephone support for those who cannot complete online, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.


The Department has issued inventory letters to sheep and goat keepers with instructions on how to complete online.

Keepers must count the total number of sheep and goats on their holding between 1st and 5th December 2021, record the details in their holding register and communicate the details to DAERA by 30th December 2021.

All keepers who receive a letter must make a return, even if they have no sheep or goats on their holding between 1st and 5th December.

Where a keeper has both sheep and goats, they must complete a separate inventory return for each species.

Keepers who are registered to use APHIS Online should login as normal and submit their inventory using this service.

For keepers who do not have access to APHIS online, an alternative option solely for collecting inventory details is available. Using their computer, tablet or smartphone, keepers should go to www.daera-ni.gov.uk and select the Annual Inventories Returns option in the Quick Links section on the right hand side of the webpage.

If keepers have any difficulty completing the form online, they should contact their local DAERA Direct Office by calling 0300 200 7840 and someone will provide assistance.

Keepers should note that failure to return their inventory details is an offence and will increase the chances of their flock being selected for a Sheep Identification Inspection.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All currently registered sheep and goat keepers must make a return, by 30th December 2021
  2. Sheep/goat keepers are obliged under the 'Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) Order (NI) 2009' to communicate annually to DAERA the total numbers of animals on the holding between the 1st and 5th December including the categories to which they belong and type of production.
  3. Sheep and goat keepers must also remember to record the details of the Annual Inventory in their Flock / Herd Register. The information provided to DAERA will be used for on-farm checks such as Cross Compliance Inspections and failure to record this information correctly in the Register may result in a financial penalty being applied to the flock / herd keeper’s direct agricultural support payment.
  4. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office at: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. ​​​
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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