Following a meeting between the IFA and Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed last week, the Minister has requested the IFA make a submission on electronic tagging of sheep.
The IFA National Sheep Committee met last week and agreed the main aspects of the submission to the Minister. The IFA submission will focus on the case that farmers cannot be expected to carry the costs of EID tagging when the main benefits will be going to the factories, the marts, the Department and the tag suppliers.
Sean Dennehy said, “In line with the case we made strongly to Minister Creed when we met him last week, the IFA will be proposing that the Department has to find a way to ensure that the €2m cost of EID is not borne by the farmer.”
Sean Dennehy said farmers are extremely annoyed and angry with the decision by the Minister to impose EID without consultation and feel particularly aggrieved over the attempt to impose the excessive cost of EID on farmers. This is totally unacceptable.
In addition, the IFA submission will highlight that it is not practical at farm level to impose EID in October this year as the timing is all wrong in terms of the lamb trade and especially the store lamb trade.
Sean Dennehy said IFA will also make it clear that it makes no sense and there is no benefit in terms of traceability by using EID in lambs that move from the farm of origin directly to slaughter.
An essential element of EID will be that the factories and marts are in a position to effectively operate as Central Points of Recording (CPR). Sean Dennehy said the Minister gave a commitment that the factories and marts will operate CPR and provide farmers with their movement document, which can be used for cross compliance. He said the Department will have to guarantee the accuracy of this printout. In addition, the IFA will be proposing increased tolerances and reduced penalties.
Sean Dennehy said the position of hill sheep farmers will also have to be fully covered as the cost are proportionally much higher.