It’s a legal requirement for all sheep keepers to update their holding registers as at 1 December and to complete an inventory form with the numbers of sheep owned on that date. Failure to complete the inventory will increase the risk of inspection.
You should have received a letter or email from DEFRA or its equivalent in your part of the UK to tell you about this. You can complete the inventory online, or return it by post, and must do so by 31st December in England, by 16th December in Scotland and by 5th January in Northern Ireland. In Wales the 2019 survey was at 1 January with a 1 February deadline.
In England, let DEFRA’s Farm Surveys Team know if you haven’t had a letter or email by 10 December. Telephone the helpline on 03000 600 140 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm) or email email@example.com for this or any other queries. In Scotland any questions regarding the survey should be directed to the contact name on the email or form but you may also email the Agricultural Census team at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0300 244 9728.
And just as Important …
The Society times its annual survey to coincide with the mandatory inventory to make things easier for everyone. And to make it easier still, if you completed the survey last year then there is no need to do so in 2019. But we do need to make sure the records of everyone else are up to date, so if you get a reminder email from us in the middle of December, please take a moment to complete the survey so that we can be sure that the flock book is as up to date as possible.
Just log in to the Society Website and visit the Online Flock Book, under Members. Select ‘Manage Your Flock’ (you’ll be asked to confirm you membership number and password) and select ‘Survey’ from the menu options. You’ll be presented with a list of the sheep currently recorded as owned by you. Please confirm that each sheep is alive, dead, or has been sold and then click on ‘Continue’ and ‘Submit to Society’. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately the survey does not allow you to enter the details of the person to whom any animal has been sold (and this is important not only for updating the records but also for recruiting new members to the Society). The easiest way to report a sale is via the ‘Transfers’ link under ‘Manage my Flock’ (do this before completing the survey). Alternatively, please drop me an email with the name, address and email of the new owner and I’ll send them updated certificates and an invitation to join the Society.
Please also let me know if any of the details of your sheep are incorrect; please send all queries over registrations or the annual survey to email@example.com