Leitrim IFA Sheep Committee Chairman John Joe Dolan, said a new report from the EU Commission Food and Veterinary office highlights a whole series of practical problems with EID sheep tagging in both Ireland and the UK.
He said based on this report the EU Commission must take on board the real problems with EID such as tag loss, cross compliance difficulties, one ID for life, tag quality, reading inaccuracies and a range of other issues and argued it was clear, from the report, that the EID regulation is not fit for purpose and must be reviewed as soon as possible.
The IFA sheep committee Chairman said the report highlights the technological difficulties with EID pointing out that there is a reading failure rate of about 6% reported in Scotland across 1.4m sheep. “In practice, this means that EID failed to read about 84,000 sheep, leaving farmers liable for severe penalties under cross compliance and this problem is compounded because of a lack of reasonable tolerances,” he noted.
The EU Commission also points out that there are major problems with “a high loss rate on tags due to their being caught in fences and scrub such as gorse under extensive farming conditions” and also highlights additional problems with poor design and poor quality of some tags which do not satisfactorily retain the electronic transporters.
Mr Dolan said it is vitally important that both DG Sanco and DG Agri in the EU Commission act immediately and move to address the very significant practical problems with EID through a full review of the regulation. In addition, he said the Department of Agriculture must continue to adopt a minimalist approach on implementation in Ireland as it is clear the technology and regulation are not fit for purpose.