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EU threat to sheep industry

PUBLISHED: 10:53 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:23 28 March 2014

APRIL 8, 2008: The European Commission's plans to introduce compulsory electronic
identification (EID) for sheep could lead to a significant number of
farmers leaving the industry, the NFU has warned.

Livestock


industry and government representatives from around the UK met with


members of the Commission last week to raise long-standing concerns


about the compulsory introduction of EID, which is expected to take


place in 2010.

Following the meeting, NFU livestock board


chairman Alistair Mackintosh said little headway had been made in


meeting farmers' concerns over the cost implications and practicality


of the proposed system.

He said: "If it is implemented in its


current form, this plan could lead to a significant number of farmers


leaving the industry. The NFU will continue to oppose the plan despite


Brussels' determination to impose another raft of unnecessary


regulation that we don't need and can ill-afford to pay for.

"The


imposition of EID has little to offer farmers in terms of greater


efficiency and we would question its value in helping to control


disease. The system we currently have in place is more than capable of


tracing sheep back to their original holding.

"However, the


Commission is insistent that EID will have to be introduced by 2010


and, while there are certain areas that appear non-negotiable, the NFU


has identified a number of areas where flexibility may be possible to


reduce the impact on the UK sheep industry."

Under the


legislation, all animals born after December 31 2009 must be identified


with an electronic form of identification, and the movement of each


animal must be recorded and reported.





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