NFU continues to fight EID

The NFU has repeated warnings to Brussels that the proposed introduction of compulsory electronic identification (EID) could devestate the already beleaguered sheep industry.

The NFU has repeated warnings to Brussels that the proposed introduction of compulsory electronic identification (EID) could devastate the already beleaguered sheep industry.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh reiterated the NFU's total opposition to the proposals during his presentation at a European Parliament meeting last week, which was attended by MEPs, EU Commissioners and representatives from farming organisations across the EU.

"These regulations make no sense and have the potential to decimate the sheep industry across the EU, which would have a huge effect on both the environment and the rural economy," he said.

"The additional costs involved, coupled with the recording requirements, will force many producers out of business, while having absolutely no cost benefit. We heard from countries where the regulation has already been implemented and there are problems in terms of cost, welfare issues with the tagging, and unreliability."

Mackintosh repeated the NFU's view that the UK's current ID and batch recording system, combined with its domestic movement standstills, is effective at controlling animal diseases.

Speaking after the meeting, the NFU stated that industry representatives from all member states present - including representatives from Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Romania - supported its stance that there is no justification for the introduction of individual movement recording and electronic identification of sheep on a compulsory basis.

A resolution will go forward from the meeting to the EU Commission asking it to look again at the proposals.

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