Factories to be allowed ‘off the hook’ with EID infrastructure

Compulsory Electronic Identification (EID) tagging cannot be imposed on sheep farmers at an additional cost of €2 million per annum if marts and factories are being allowed ‘off the hook’ with voluntary implementation, according to a farm lobby group.

National sheep chairman for the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Sean Dennehy said: “The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, promised farmers that marts and factories would have to operate CPR’s [Central Points of Recording] and provide accurate print outs which would remove the need for farmers to record individual tag numbers.

The Department of Agriculture is now saying it is ‘not mandatory’ for marts and factories to operate CPR’s.

“The department is also saying, in these circumstances, they ‘will require farmers to list the individual tag numbers of the sheep’ even if they have used EID tags.”

The IFA national sheep chairman said: “This is completely unacceptable and a U-turn on what the minister told farmers.”

Dennehy stressed: “Sheep farmers are demanding that Minister Creed sorts out this mess with EID and makes it clear that farmers using EID tags will not have to write out individual numbers.”

Concluding, Dennehy also called on Minister Creed to allow one EID tag to cover store lambs going to the mart.