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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Once-off payment of €100 to be paid to sheep farmers as Creed unveils revamped EID scheme

Michael Creed
Michael Creed

A once-off payment of €100 will be paid to farmers to phase in the mandatory electronic identification (EID) scheme for sheep, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has announced.

The new EID requirements will be introduced in two stages. From October 1, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will only sell two tag types: single electronic slaughter tags (for animals less than 12 months moving directly from the farm of birth to slaughter), andelectronic tag sets (for all other sheep movements). 

Then, from June 1, 2019 all sheep moving off a holding must be identified by either tag.

Minister Creed said: “The extension of electronic identification will simplify the sheep tagging system and significantly reduce the record keeping requirements for sheep farmers moving sheep to livestock marts, slaughter plants and export assembly centres.”

There will be a once-off payment of up to a maximum of €100 per farmer for the purchase of electronic tags from October 1. This is double the previous proposed figure of a €50 payment.

Sheep farmers will not need to make an application for this funding, as the Department is in a position to use its records to calculate the amount due to each farmer under the scheme.

“One of the main concerns was the need for an appropriate transition period for farmers to use up already purchased stocks of tags, to simplify arrangements for store lamb fatteners who would have purchased lambs already tagged with the ‘old’ tags, and to enable marts and factories put in place the necessary infrastructure and systems — the staged implementation of the new requirements takes account of the varying concerns,” stated Minister Creed.

Additionally the Minister also announced a subvention to marts of 40pc of the verified development cost (subject to a maximum of €10,000) of the infrastructure necessary to enable them generate the printout of tag numbers for farmers in respect of sheep supplied.

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He also re-confirmed that electronic tag readers and associated software are included as eligible investments in the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) scheme to assist sheep farmers in flock management.  He stressed however, that tag readers are not a requirement for the new sheep identification system.

With effect from October 1, 2018, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will only sell two tag types:

a. single electronic slaughter tags (for animals less than 12 months for lambs moving directly from the farm of birth to slaughter), and

b. electronic tag sets (for all other sheep movements). 

With effect from June 1, 2019 all sheep moving off a holding must be identified electronically, requiring either

a. a single electronic slaughter tag, where lambs less than 12 months of age are moved directly from the birth holding to a slaughter plant, or

b. an electronic tag set, in the case of all other sheep movements.

The subsidy will apply to the first order for EID tags ordered by farmers after 1 October 2018.

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