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Sheep processors say EID tagging is necessary for new markets


Mountbellew Sheep Mart, Co. Galway. Photo Brian Farrell

Mountbellew Sheep Mart, Co. Galway. Photo Brian Farrell

Mountbellew Sheep Mart, Co. Galway. Photo Brian Farrell

Amid criticism from farming organisation over the introduction of mandatory electronic tagging for the sheep sector, Meat Industry Ireland has said the move is necessary.

The Minister for Agriculture announced that electronic identification for all sheep sold would be necessary from October 1.

Farming organisations said the move is unnecessary. IFA President Joe Healy said it is adding insult to injury after the fodder crisis and the financial challenges sheep farmers have had to endure this winter.

However, a spokesman for, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has said that it is a necessary step to further underpin our sheep traceability system and will put the sector on a sound footing for future development.

Cormac Healy of MII said: “The extension of EID to all sheep ensures that Ireland keeps pace with developments in other major sheep producing member states in the EU. 

"This is critically important to the positioning of Irish lamb in the marketplace and to competing for key customer accounts.”

He went on to say that while the industry is working to gain access to new international markets such as the US, Japan and China, this announcement will be an important enabler to progressing these applications and ultimately delivering new international market access opportunities for Irish lamb exports.

IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said it was unacceptable that Minister Creed did not engage in any meaningful consultation with farmers on this move.

He said it appears that a small few people are dictating the pace and 35,000 farmers are being asked to pick up the bill.

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