IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said it is essential that the proposal from the EU Commission on electronic identification of cattle remain voluntary and optional for farmers and member states.
Last week the EU Commission announced proposals to provide a legal framework for the introduction of electronic identification of bovine animals on a voluntary basis claiming that such a move would enhance food safety and better safeguard animal health in the EU.
Michael Doran said, “Some small number of livestock farmers may wish to move to EID to assist their management systems, but for the majority of farmers the move is impractical, too costly and not necessary.”
The IFA livestock leader said Ireland currently has a strong and secure system of bovine identification providing full individual traceability with double cattle tagging, registration and notification of all movements to a central database.
Michael Doran said it is important that the EU provides the proper framework for EID on a voluntary basis across all member states and this option must be available at individual farm level.
He said the EU should insist that all beef imports into the EU meet the same standards on tagging and traceability as applies to domestic production. “The EU Commission allows hundreds of thousands of tonnes of beef imports into the EU and on to consumer plates which fail to meet European standards on tagging, traceability, movement, animal health, food safety and environmental controls.”