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Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) – Genotyped ram task

How many genotyped rams must I purchase during the SIS?

All participants will be required to carry out the Genotyped Ram action at least once during the first three years of the scheme. The Genotyped Ram action becomes your Category B action for that year(s). Participants will carry out the Genotyped Ram task rather than the other Category B action in the year they have selected to carry out the Genotyped Ram action. Where a participant has a reference number greater than 150 breeding ewes, the participant will be required to carry out the Genotyped Ram action twice over the lifetime of the scheme.
Applicants will select the year, or years, in which they will carry out the Genotyped Ram action when applying to participate in the scheme.

I am a Lowland farmer, and I already have a 4 or 5 Star ram, will that cover my Sheep Improvement Scheme requirements?

No. The SIS requires farmers to purchase a ram in the year (or years) they chose to carry out the task when applying for the scheme. A ram purchased outside of this chosen year will not meet the requirements of the SIS.

What is required of Hill sheep farmers regarding the SIS ram task?

Hill farmers can purchase either a ram that meets the Lowland requirements (a genomically tested, 4/5 stars, scrapie type 1/2/3  Ram) OR a genotyped hill ram that is sire verified, scrapie type 1/2/3. Flocks over 150 ewes must also purchase two sires.

Where can genotyped rams be found?

There are several ways that farmers can locate genotyped rams. One of the easiest ways is via the Sheep Ireland online ram search ( A list of ram breeders with suitable rams for sale will also be included in the Sheep Ireland Guide and Directory of Breeders, which is published in August each year (electronic version available on under the ‘Publications’ tab). Breed societies sales across Ireland will also be providing this information, so view your relevant breeds website/Facebook page to identify ram sale dates. Sheep Ireland also hosts an annual genotyped ram, 5 Star ram sale on the 4th Saturday of August in Tullamore Mart.

I have signed up to the scheme, I just purchased a ram (before the start date of the scheme – 1st Feb) that is 4 or 5 stars and is genotyped and meets the criteria for the SIS scheme, is this ram eligible?

No. The scheme does not begin until 1st Feb 2023, if you selected 2023 as the year that you will purchase a ram, then you will be required to purchase a ram for the SIS scheme AFTER 1ST Feb 2023.