Agricultural minister Michael Creed met with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy and chairman Sean Dennehy to discuss the details of the decision, to which the IFA had reacted negatively, describing the decision as “astonishing” last week.
At the meeting, the IFA made clear to the minister the organisation’s strong feelings that sheep farmers were very angry over an additional €2m in costs being forced onto them.
Elaborating on the EID costs debate, Dennehy said sheep farmers could not be expected to carry all of the costs for EID and outlined that the funds would mainly benefit tag manufacturers and factories.
He stated that the decision by the Irish agriculture board “made no sense and will not add to traceability”.
“It is clear from the announcement last week that the process has not been fully thought through, particularly on the timing and the practical implementation at farm, factory and mart level,” said Dennehy.
He added that the sheep sector needed increased support and the permutations in place would not fulfil this.
Responding to the claims, Minister Creed accepted the IFA’s position on cost issues and requested a submission from the association on the matter.
Mandatory sheep tagging EID will become effective from 1 October 2018. From this date, all sheep must have an EID tag set comprising one conventional tag and a corresponding electronic tag. An exception will be made for lambs slaughtered before reaching the age of 12 months, which will be identified with a single conventional tag.
The IFA National Sheep Committee is set to meet today (11 May) and will be making a submission to the minister as requested.