Sheep tagging plan blasted as “completely over the top”

‘Done without warning or consultation at the behest of processors.’

Sligo News File.

Department of Agriculture proposed electronic identification of all sheep has been denounced as “completely over the top.”

John Brooks, Chairman,
ICSA National Sheep Committee

The attack follows the announcement by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed that “all sheep, including lambs under twelve months moving directly from the farm for processing, must be EID tagged from 1 October 2018.”

ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks said, “It would appear the Department have been hoodwinked” on the measure.

“This has been done without warning or consultation at the behest of processors.”

He said there was no doubt that the move will benefit efficiency in factories “but there will be no benefit to the primary producer or to the end consumer.

“The sheep farmer will ultimately have to bear all the costs associated and there will be no extra traceability post slaughter, certainly not individual carcass traceability.

“Foisting this on farmers with the reasoning that it’s a market requirement simply does not ring true.”

Continuing Mr Brooks said:

“It would appear the Department have been hoodwinked on this. Up to now even the most ardent supporter of EID tagging consented that it should never be a requirement for lambs moving from farm of origin to the meat plant.

“In addition, there has been no promise of a reduction paperwork for the farmer. Costs have been mounting up for sheep farmers in recent months. In the middle of a busy spring we had the confused roll out of Clean Livestock Policy (CLP) for sheep and now this.

“There is no justification for adding this extra cost burden onto sheep farmers at a time when so many are struggling to stay afloat.”