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.


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.


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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