‘Creed needs to clearly outline the new tag supply arrangements’

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has been called on to clearly outline to all farmers the new cattle tag supply arrangements.

Bert Stewart, who is the IFA Animal Health Chairman believes that Minister Creed needs to write immediately to farmers in an effort to clarify the arrangements being implemented by his Department.

He believes the details as to how farmers must now order their tags must also be provided.

It is unacceptable that the Minister and his officials have allowed the situation to develop to the stage where tag orders are significantly behind previous years as we approach the critical calving period on farms, he said.

“Delayed registrations and missed sales opportunities can have very serious repercussions for farmers and are now a real concern as a result of the failure of the Department of Agriculture to communicate the new supply arrangements directly to farmers.”

These require farmers to initiate contact with approved suppliers directly to order their tags, which is a fundamental shift from previous arrangements where order forms were sent to all farmers.

In discussions with the Department in October, Stewart said a request for this level of communication was agreed, but as of yet nothing has been issued.

The IFA Animal Health Chairman believes it is the Ministers responsibility to make every effort to ensure the timely reordering and supply of tags takes place.

The first step in this process is the immediate direct communication with all farmers outlining the new arrangements, he said.

Stewart advised farmers to immediately contact approved tag suppliers to order their tag requirements for the coming year.

Approved Suppliers

Three cattle tag suppliers have been approved by the Department so far, Mullinahone Co-op, Cormac Tagging and Datamars Ireland.

Mullinahone Co-op was the first tag supplier to be approved under the new tag regime, offering the full range of cattle tags sought by the Department.

Meanwhile, Galway-based company Cormac Tagging received official notification from the Department that it could supply cattle tags to Irish farmers at the beginning of November.

Cormac Tagging is currently awaiting final sign off of its IT system by the Department and it will then be able to supply tags.

The third cattle tag supplier to be approved was Datamars Ireland, which is based in Leinster and is an affiliate of global operator Datamars.

Full details and cattle tag prices will be issued by the company once its commencement date is finalised.