Mandatory EID tagging ‘a necessary step for future development’

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has responded to the announcement that electronic identification (EID) tagging will be extended to all sheep, which was made by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed yesterday.

The sector association said: “This is a necessary step to further underpin our sheep traceability system and will put the sector on a sound footing for future development.”

Cormac Healy of MII commented on the move, noting: “The extension of EID to all sheep ensures that Ireland keeps pace with developments in other major sheep producing member states in the EU.

This is critically important to the positioning of Irish lamb in the marketplace and to competing for key customer accounts.

“Furthermore, MII and its members are working actively with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to progress access to new international markets such as the US, Japan and China.

“This announcement will be an important enabler to progressing these applications and ultimately delivering new international market access opportunities for Irish lamb exports,” Healy added.

EID tagging

The new rules will require all sheep sold from October 1, 2018, and onwards to be identified electronically. This time frame will allow farmers a reasonable period of time to use up stocks of tags on hand.

Lambs under 12 months of age moving directly to slaughter from the holding of birth will also be required to be identified with a single electronic tag.

All other sheep will require an EID tag set comprising of two tags – one conventional tag and a corresponding electronic tag. However, a conventional tag and an EID bolus will be permitted also.

Making the announcement, Minister Creed said that he intends to introduce a one-off support measure up to a maximum of €50/keeper for the first purchase of EID tags.