IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said sheep farmers are very frustrated with the way EID has been compulsorily imposed on them. He said the recent letter from the Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture to 35,000 sheep farmers makes it very clear “that EID is compulsory for farmers and optional for factories”.
He said earlier this year, Minister Creed promised sheep farmers that he would insist that all factories and marts would have to provide farmers with a full and accurate print out of their EID tags numbers for consignments of sheep delivered and this in turn would make the dispatch documents much simpler for farmers. In the latest letter to farmers, the Department now state that “factories will have the option to operate as Central Points of recording”.
The IFA Sheep farmers leader pointed out in a Frequently Asked Questions section accompanying the Department letter to farmers, the Department pose the question “Is it a requirement for marts and slaughter plants to operate as CPRs? Answer – No – operations seeking to function as CPRs will apply to the DAFM for approval to do so. Where a mart or slaughter plant decides not to operate as an approved CPR, the full individual identification number of each animal presented in a particular batch must be listed on the dispatch document accompanying sheep to that premises”.
Sean Dennehy said there are major flaws with the current EID proposals on the table from Minister Creed and he called on the Minister to have a rethink in order to try and get the arrangements correct before proceeding. “If the Minister is imposing compulsory EID on farmers, he must insist that factories and marts operate EID and supply an accurate printout to farmers”. In addition, the Minister must ensure that there are proper tolerances and reduced penalties for tag fall out, which are inevitable and will costs farmers seriously in cross compliance penalties on their direct payments.
Sean Dennehy said IFA has again written to the Department of Agriculture seeking an urgent meeting on EID before the EID arrangements proceed any further