eu reaction to sheep tagging
Rory has expressed his dismay that the European Commission
has responded negatively to a request for tolerance on EID tagging.
DEFRA has dent a formal request to the EU to ask for more tolerance,
particularly in relation to hill farmers.
Rory said: “It is simply out of the question to expect our
farmers to be one hundred percent accurate all of the time. They
should not be penalised through that element of human error that
means, inevitably, that mistakes can and will be made. Many of us farm
in landscapes that are inhospitable, in conditions that can be
extremely difficult, and we need to ensure that EC officials recognise
this and make allowances. Our hill farmers are being unfairly treated
through a lack of understanding. I urge EC officials to come and visit
Cumbria and see the situation on the ground.”
Since the regulation of EIDs was first discussed, the NFU has
consistently stated that it would be impossible for farmers to achieve
absolute accuracy when reading and recording individual sheep
movements. Defra has also recognised these issues and, following work
with the livestock industry, recently submitted the proposal to the
European Commission highlighting the issue. The proposal centred
around an inspection system which recognised the practical issues of
EID monitoring and ensured that farmers would not fall foul of Single
Farm Payment penalties as a result of inevitable and unavoidable
incomplete readings under the current system.