Go online to complete your animal inventory

Date published: 04 December 2020

The Annual Animal Inventories will be completed entirely online this year due to Covid-19, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.



Over the past few days, sheep, goat, bird, and pig keepers will have received inventory letters from the Department. The inventories must be completed by 30 December 2020.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is not possible to collect and process large volumes of Inventory Cards. Farmers are still required to submit their annual animal inventory details to the Department but this year the information will be collected entirely online and a new facility has been developed by the Department for this purpose.

"Many farmers are already under significant pressure and using this new facility, completion of inventories should take no more than five minutes, making the inventories quicker and easier than ever to complete. For those who are unable to use the online facilities a backup telephone facility will be available.  I would encourage all keepers to go to the DAREA website and submit their return online by the 30th December.”

You should access the inventories through the DAERA website. From here you can select the correct option for submitting the appropriate inventory returns for your animals.

If you have any difficulties completing the online form, please contact your local DAERA Direct Office at 0300 200 7840 or email 

Notes to editors: 

  1. All currently registered pig, bird, sheep and goat flock/herd keepers must make a return by 30th December 2020.
  2. Sheep/goat flock/herd 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, the occupation of the flock keeper and type of production.
  3. Sheep/goat keepers should note that failure to return an inventory card or enter the details on-line is an offence and will increase the chances of their flock being selected for a Sheep Identification Inspection.
  4. 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.
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  6. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office  ​​​
  7. 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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