Sheep EID proposals will cost industry, says NFU and NSA

Sheep EID proposals will cost industry, says NFU and NSA

Proposals in the latest Government consultation on sheep EID could cost the industry an extra £1.8million a year and add little to protect the industry in the event of a disease outbreak, the NFU and National Sheep Association (NSA) has warned.

In letters to Farming Minister David Heath, the organisations have raised their concerns over plans by Defra to remove all access to the non-electronic batch tag for lambs. The NFU and NSA believes this could result in an increased tag cost for the vast majority of livestock producers and reduce their flexibility to choose the most appropriate tag for their market.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “Sheep farmers have had a tough year and are still recovering from the devastating marketing season last year. We are very concerned that the Government’s favoured option to prohibit the use of the non-electronic tag completely will levy costs onto all producers with little tangible benefit in terms of traceability especially for those sending animals from the farm to slaughter.”

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker added: “We understand the importance to the whole industry of having an efficient movement reporting system and an accurate database. We are asking the Minister to intervene to alleviate some of the further burden that may be imposed on producers and to also work to agree tolerances for incorrect reads which can lead to cross compliance fines.”

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