Farmers who sell pet lambs to unregistered individuals may be in breach of regulations.
In response to advertisements of pet lambs for sale, both in local print media and online, the Department of Agriculture has reminded herd owners of the requirements of the National Sheep Identification System (NSIS).
The Department of Agriculture says that the NSIS requires all flock owners to be registered, all sheep must be tagged, and all sheep movements must be recorded.
The Department says it is not permissible for an individual without a flock number to receive sheep or lambs from a farmer.
Prior to moving off a holding, an animal must be tagged and accompanied by a dispatch document, which is completed by the registered owner from whose farm the lamb is moving.
The recipient is also required to notify this movement to the department.
Farmers or individuals not abiding by these requirements may be in breach of Department of Agriculture rules.
The NSIS requires that sheep flock keepers must be registered, sheep must be identified (with tags or boluses), the total numbers and details of all sheep on farms must be recorded annually, and sheep movements on and off farms must be fully recorded in a register.
Anyone who intends to hold or keep sheep in the State must first register their holding with the local District Veterinary Office of the Department of Agriculture. These rules are in compliance with the EU-wide system for identification and registration of sheep and goats.