22 FEBRUARY 2019
ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara has called the revelation that factories and marts will not be obliged to install systems for reading EID tags as ludicrous. “The onus is now on the Department of Agriculture to make the installation of the necessary systems compulsory as a matter of urgency. Sheep farmers cannot be expected to fork out for electronic tags if they’re not going to be read,” he said.
From 1 June 2019, farmers must tag all sheep and lambs with an electronic tag set. However, even with an exception secured for lambs under 12 months moving directly to slaughter to only require a single electronic tag, the estimated bill for sheep farmers is €20m per year.
“The reality is that mandatory EID tagging has been forced on us. It will do nothing that would result in sheep farmers achieving a better price. Neither will the consumer benefit as there is no additional traceability gained from their use. We were told that EID was a market requirement but if the factories and marts are allowed to adopt an indifferent attitude, why are we wasting our money? The least we should be able to expect is that the need for written dispatch dockets would be eliminated and that the factory or mart would be able to print off the necessary paperwork.”