Green party calls for EID to be ‘postponed or scrapped’

The Green Party has called for the scrapping or postponement of the Electronic Identification (EID) tagging system for sheep.

It accused the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of introducing “an ill-thought-out idea” following the latest controversy with the system.

The party has also called for a suspension of the extension of EID rules to all sheep “until all marts and factories install the systems required to read them”.

Green Party spokesperson on agriculture and food Pippa Hackett said that, while it will be compulsory for farmers to tag all sheep and lambs with electronic tags from June 1, 2019, it is only optional for meat factories and marts to install the necessary systems to read them.

“While we would be in favour of any system that improves traceability and potentially improves market opportunities for sheep farmers, it seems ridiculous that such a system could be rolled out without first getting marts and factories on board,” she added.

This is an example of yet another ill-thought-out idea from Minister Creed and his department advisors.

Hackett went on to say that as a sheep farmer herself she was acutely aware of how tight margins were without adding further costs with EID.

“As a sheep farmer myself I know that margins are tight; imposing this additional, and as yet worthless cost on each lamb, is of no benefit to any sheep farmer or to the sector in general,” she continued.

“Until all parts of the supply chain are fully obliged to support this ruling then its introduction should either be postponed or scrapped. Some common sense must prevail.”