ICSA says EID tagging of sheep has 'failed' and farmers should be compensated

Creed said EID tagging will ultimately simplify the sheep tagging system
Creed said EID tagging will ultimately simplify the sheep tagging system
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Calls have been made for the decision to extend electronic tagging to all sheep to be reversed.

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has also called said that farmers should be compensated for being forced to 'waste money' on electronic tags.

“The feedback I’m getting from factories and marts is that they are not going to install EID tag readers or issue an electronic printout for sheep and lambs presented for slaughter, meaning farmers will still have to fill out dispatch books as normal.”

Mr McNamara said, “Farmers have no choice but to EID tag and bear this extra cost for absolutely no reason. It is of no benefit to anyone if EID readers are not compulsory in all marts and factories. With costs continually rising and incomes falling, there was little appetite among sheep farmers for the introduction of mandatory EID tagging to start with, but anger is setting in at this waste of money now.”

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that his Department wrote to all relevant marts and factories on 31st January 2019 informing them of the upcoming changes and advising them of the opportunity that the extension of EID to all sheep provides for them in operating as approved Central Points of Recording (or CPRs) from 1stJune 2019.

Minister Creed said officials are engaging with these respondents to ensure their readiness to operate effectively as CPRs by 1st June 2019. Furthermore officials are making further contact with potential applicants to encourage additional uptake.

He also said that in recognition of the costs associated with the upgrading of mart facilities to the standards required for Central Points of Recording (CPRs), he introduced a grant aid scheme to part-fund eligible expenditure in this regard.

Eligible marts will receive financial aid in respect of 40pc of the eligible investments made (up to a maximum of €10,000 per mart) in upgrading their facilities to CPR requirements.

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"The rationale for the introduction of new rules on sheep identification is very solid as it clearly allows for a more robust sheep traceability system that will further support the development and sustainability of the sheep industry.

"It will ultimately simplify the sheep tagging system and will significantly reduce the record keeping requirements for farmers and producers alike," Minister Creed has said.

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