First mart to be ready for EID sheep tagging by end of month – Creed

The first mart to have the capability and facilities to read electronic identification (EID) tags on sheep and lambs will be ready by the end of this month, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Michael Creed was speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) last Thursday, June 6, in Sligo, when he told the room: “I expect to have the first mart online before the end of this month.”

The minster also highlighted that, of the country’s marts that trade in sheep, the majority had “engaged” with the department on EID tagging.

Of, I think around 57 or 58 marts, 44 have indicated engagement with the department on this issue.

He also provided a rough timeline for when sheep farmers might expect the largest and busiest marts to be up-and-running with EID tag-reading facilities.

“We do expect to have the dozen marts that deal with the overwhelming majority of sales on board within the next couple of weeks,” Minister Creed told the INHFA membership at the Clayton Hotel in Sligo town.

Factories

The minister was responding to a question from the floor, and also addressed the issue of factories, where progress on EID tag reading has been faster.

However, Minster Creed acknowledged that some of the smaller establishments will elect not to become ‘central points of recording’ (CPR) – the department’s term for factories and marts that are EID-capable.

The five main factories involved in the slaughter of lamb are on board and are acting as CPRs, and they deal with over 90% [of slaughterings].

“Some of the smaller abattoirs may decide, because of the volume of throughput, that they may not wish to be registered, and in those incidences, trade can still continue, but it would have to be on the basis of manual filling out of the documents,” the minister explained.

On June 1, it became compulsory for sheep farmers to tag sheep and lambs moving off-farm with EID tags; however, it is not mandatory for marts and factories to have the facilities or technology to read the tags.

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