Proposals in the latest Government consultation on sheep EID couldcost the industry an extra 1.8million a year and add little to protect theindustry in the event of a disease outbreak, the NFU and National SheepAssociation (NSA) warned today.
In letters to Farming Minister David Heath, the organisations haveraised their concerns over plans by Defra to remove all access to thenon-electronic batch tag for lambs. The NFU and NSA believes this could resultin an increased tag cost for the vast majority of livestock producers andreduce their flexibility to choose the most appropriate tag for their market.
NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: Sheep farmershave had a tough year and are still recovering from the devastating marketingseason last year. We are very concerned that the Governments favoured optionto prohibit the use of the non-electronic tag completely will levy costs ontoall producers with little tangible benefit in terms of traceability especiallyfor those sending animals from the farm to slaughter.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker added: We understand theimportance to the whole industry of having an efficient movement reportingsystem and an accurate database. We are asking the Minister to intervene toalleviate some of the further burden that may be imposed on producers and toalso work to agree tolerances for incorrect reads which can lead to crosscompliance fines.