Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 22 February 2018

Department needs to finance EID cattle tagging costs - ICMSA

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ICMSA's Pat McCormack
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Concerns have been raised over the additional costs on farmers amid moves to make electronic tagging of cattle compulsory.

Discussions are underway with the Department of Agriculture over future bovine EID tagging as it is required under EU regulations from July 2019.

ICMSA president Pat McCormack said it is quite clear there are benefits from EID tagging for farmers but in particular for marts, live exporters, meat plants, vets and the Department.

"If such a system is introduced, farmers cannot be expected to shoulder the additional cost of such tags.

There will be substantial savings for the other players in the industry, including the Department, and if there is additional costs associated with the change, they must shoulder the cost," said Mr McCormack.

The ICSA's beef chair Edmund Graham also raised concerns over the cost when many stages of the industry will benefit from their usage.

Currently around 10pc of the national herd are EID tagged.

However, suppliers of calf tags have reported a sharp rise in interest for EID tags, with farmers paying €1-1.20 over the conventional tags as they utilise more on-farm automated feeding and management.

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It is expected EID tags are likely to become mandatory with a transition period.

It is likely there would be a passport system and an EID system running concurrently for a number of years.

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