Irish agriculture board accepts EID tagging cost issues for sheep farmers

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Irish agricultural board accepts that EID costing must be resolved
The Irish agricultural board accepts that EID costing must be resolved
Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has admitted costs associated with EID (electronic identification) tagging are a major issue for sheep farmers and must be resolved following the decision to impose mandatory electronic tagging for sheep last week.

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.

Related topics: Industry & Markets, Ireland

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