LACK OF CONSULTATION WILL LEAD TO EID CHAOS

10 JULY 2018

ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has urged Minister Michael Creed to initiate further engagement with stakeholders as a matter of urgency on the introduction of mandatory EID tagging for all sheep. Mr Brooks made his comments following the Teagasc Sheep2018 event in Athenry on Saturday, where anger at the move was clearly evident. “ICSA and the farmers we represent are deeply concerned with the lack of real consultation on EID thus far. A deeper level of understanding of the issues on the ground is required by the Department at this time if we are to avoid unnecessary chaos should this rollout be attempted in October.”

Continuing Mr Brooks said, “Both logistical and financial obstacles must be overcome in order to facilitate a smooth transition over to electronic tagging. First at foremost, sheep farmers simply cannot carry the estimated €2.5 in annual costs. It is untenable than such a low income sector should be expected to take a financial hit of this magnitude. Sheep farmers are not the ones who will benefit from EID so why should be forced to pay for this service to others?”

“In addition, ICSA maintains its position that lambs going direct from the holding of birth to slaughter should be fully exempt as no additional traceability is accrued from this. Efficiency in factories might improve but there will be no benefit to the primary producer or to the end consumer. A consensus will need to be agreed between all stakeholders as to how best protect the industry for the future. A big part of protecting the industry is making sure we retain the primary producers, not force them out because they can’t make a living.”

Concluding Mr Brooks said, “As it is profitability is right down, lamb prices falling to a pittance with factories offering barely over €5.00 for spring lamb. These are the same factories that suggest there is scope to increase production by up to one million sheep annually yet prices are pulled at the slightest increase in supply. The bottom line is EID will do nothing that would result in sheep farmers achieving a better price.”

ENDS