Tagging prices set to fall as tender opened up to multiple bidders
FARMERS are expected to benefit from lower cattle tag prices after the Agriculture Department moved to withdraw the €20m tender for a single supplier.
Under the new system, multiple suppliers will be permitted to supply ear tags.
The Department decision came on the day that Cormac Tagging were preparing to lodge High Court proceedings against the single supplier tender system.
"It has been our campaign that farmers deserved a choice of tag - the winner today is the farmer," said Ursula Kelly from Cormac Tagging, which is one of the three main suppliers of sheep tags in the country.
"Farmers will pay less for their tags next November because of competition."
Multiple suppliers are approved to sell sheep tags throughout the country.
The existing supplier Mullinahone Co-op's Eurotags division run by former IFA county chairman Liam Egan had won the past four contracts over the last 14 years.
It has used the French tag manufacturer Allflex to supply the cattle tags, with a loss rate of 4pc, and has previously stressed they set the price for the market at the lowest possible rate.