Acknowledging the provision of the €4.25m subvention scheme announced by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue for Bovine EID tags, IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said the Minister needs to go further.
He said the main beneficiaries of Bovine EID are outside the farm gate. These benefits will not be passed back to farmers, while farmers are left exposed to the additional cost of EID tags.
“IFA has sought the full additional cost of EID tags to be covered. While the subvention scheme offsets this cost for a period of time for most farmers, it still leaves additional and unnecessary costs on breeding farms,” he said.
He said the scheme must be extended to include all tags purchased by farmers and must be amended to also cover the additional cost of replacement EID tags, which are also more expensive than conventional tags.
Pat Farrell also pointed out farmers will purchase their tag requirements for 2022 in advance of Jan 1st. All EID tags that are purchased prior to Jan 1st must be eligible for the subvention payment.
The IFA Chairman said for farmers to accrue any benefit from these tags they will need a tag reader. “The Minister must provide direct support to all farmers purchasing tag readers for the full cost that will be incurred,” he said.
He said this change to our bovine identification system is not a legislative requirement and is based on a decision taken by the Minister to facilitate meat factories, marts, large feedlots and other service providers.
The IFA Chairman said the Minister must amend his proposed subvention scheme to offset all additional costs for farmers and provide all farmers with EID tag readers to allow them avail of at least some potential benefit from the changes announced.