The surprise announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine that all sheep must be EID tagged prior to slaughter after the 1st of October 2018 demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the sheep sector on the part of the Minister has of the sheep sector according to Denis Carroll, Deputy Chair of ICMSA Livestock Committee and a prominent Kerry sheep farmer. “A meeting held over two years ago on sheep tagging is not a substitute for a proper consultation of the matter and we are bitterly disappointed that stakeholders weren’t adequately consulted on this matter”, he said.
The new regulations mean that all sheep sent for slaughter must be EID tagged or bolused. “There is no logic to this regulation: the EID tag provides no additional transparency for markets. While there is a benefit for abattoirs and marts in terms of efficiency, there is zero benefit for the farmers but the cost of this measure is being totally borne by the farmer with EID tags three times more expensive than conventional tags. This is part of an established and ongoing pattern where more and more regulation and cost is being imposed on the farmers with any benefits accruing going to the processors and others. The Minister has stated that this will provide for an improved traceability system which will assist marketing strategies. We challenge the Minister to actually demonstrate this additional benefit before lumping these prohibitive extra costs on farmers. Our question is what -exactly- are we paying for and what – exactly – do the farmers bearing the cost get out of this?” concluded Mr. Carroll.
Ends 4 May 2018.
Denis Carroll, 087-2225432
Deputy Chairperson, ICMSA Livestock Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office