Minor ‘refinements’ to compulsory EID tagging considered

In May of this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, announced the mandatory extension of electronic identification (EID) for all sheep.

However, after meetings with farmers and various stakeholders, a number of minor changes to the planned policy look to be on the table.

“The minister is actively considering a number of minor refinements to the introduction of mandatory sheep EID on the foot of deep engagement with farmers and other stakeholders on the matter, with a view to minimising the disruption to farmers,” a source close to the minster told AgriLand.

“There will, however, be no resiling from the principle, particularly in light of the recent FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) report on traceability in the sector,” the source added.

Further details of the refinements are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Back in May, the minister announced that the new rules will require all sheep sold from October 1, 2018 and onwards to be identified electronically.

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

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