IFA National Animal Health Chairman Bert Stewart has said the change in policy by the Department of Agriculture in their proposal to move from a tag tender to a tag licensing arrangement raises a number of significant new issues and concerns for farmers.
He said IFA has sought a meeting with the Department to request clarification on how the new system will operate so as to guarantee that the key issues for farmers of security, traceability, quality, reducing loss rates and tag costs are prioritised in the new arrangements.
Bert Stewart said the changes announced by the Department also raise new costs concerns for farmers around BVD testing and BDGP genotyping, which must be addressed. He said the change in policy by the Department cannot expose farmers to any new or additional costs.
Bert Stewart said IFA will be insisting that the new Department policy will ensure that all farmers, regardless of size, will have access to the same level of service and the most competitive tag price from all suppliers licenced by the Department. He said the Department cannot allow small scale farmers to be disenfranchised by selective marketing from tag supply companies, wishing to cherry pick parts of the market.