Jump in lamb slaughter tag orders following EID ‘clarification’

Orders for lamb slaughter tags have jumped by over 40% since farmers received “clarification” on the mandatory extension of electronic identification (EID) to all sheep earlier this week, according to Ursula Kelly from Cormac Tagging.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced revisions to the measure – which was initially revealed at the beginning of May – on Tuesday, August 7.

Also Read: Revisions announced for mandatory extension of EID tagging to all sheep

Speaking to AgriLand following this week’s announcement, Kelly said: “We’re just glad there is clarification around it. We’re front-line staff and we were trying to handle the queries and we didn’t have the answers.

From a farmer’s point of view, at least now they have clarification.

The decision to push back the date for the extension of EID tagging to all sheep from October 1, 2018, to June 1, 2019, was one that was required, she added.

“Farmers are now in a position that, if they have lambs finished before next May, they can effectively order tags to do them until then. If you have lambs going to the factory before the end of next May, you can use an ordinary slaughter tag.

I think it was required. Farmers needed that opportunity to use up stocks of tags. It was an unfair requirement to have it for October 1.

The two main drivers behind the calls for revisions to the measure included the proposed timing of its introduction – in terms of finishing lambs – and the stock of tags that farmers had yet to use.

Kelly urged sheep farmers to get orders for the normal slaughter tags in “as soon as possible“. Any farmer making an order on or after October 1, 2018, will have to purchase EID tags.

Sales slump during ‘uncertainty’

Meanwhile, Liam Egan from Mullinahone Co-op noted that slaughter tag sales were back compared to last year between the beginning of May – when the extension of EID tagging to all sheep was initially announced – and earlier this week.

The three-month period of “uncertainty” meant that farmers were wary about buying stocks of tags, Egan explained.

Since the department’s announcement, there has been “a surge” in sales of slaughter tags for lambs, he added.

Speaking to AgriLand, he said: “Farmers were afraid to overdo orders. Now they know that they can use the ‘current’ slaughter tags up until the end of May. They will have a fair idea of what they will need to order to get them to that point.”