Electronic ID deficit hitting lamb exports - Creed
The lack of electronic ID (EID) is limiting market access for Irish lamb, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
This is one of the main reasons that Department officials are pushing for the inclusion of a new tagging regime in the new €25m sheep scheme, due to get under way over the coming months.
"Our sheep exports are at a competitive disadvantage compared to UK product for example because without electronic tagging it is difficult to provide the level of traceability that some customers require," said Minister Creed.
He also believes that the inclusion of EID would strengthen the proposals for the scheme, which must first be approved by the European Commission.
"I don't want to be prescriptive on what's included, but the overriding imprimatur is that it is credible with the Commission," he added.
"I don't want a protracted tennis match with proposals going back and forward to the Commission."
Farm organisations have staunchly resisted any form of compulsory EID for sheep farmers. The IFA claimed last year when the idea was mooted that it would cost farmers up to €2m per year.