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 December 1 and December 5, 2021, record the details in their holding register and communicate the details to DAERA by December 30, 2021.

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