Scots pledge to battle EID

The Scottish government will fight "tooth and nail" against proposals to introduce electronic identification (EID) for sheep, a minister has pledged.

Speaking at the NSA Scotsheep 2008, Richard Lochhead, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, pledged to fight the EU plan to bring in EID by 2010.

"I will fight tooth and nail with Brussels and the UK government to ensure we get a system that is practical and does not cause further damage to our fragile sheep sector, especially in our outlying areas," he said.

"That is a number one priority for the Scottish Government. I don't want to be forced to accept an EID system which is not practical for Scotland's sheep farmers and I will do my best to stop that happening in the coming weeks and months."

Meanwhile, NSA Scotsheep 2008 was one of the best ever in the 30-year history of the event, organisers claimed.

The show, organised by the Scottish Region of the National Sheep Association, with Bank of Scotland Corporate as major sponsor, attracted a record attendance of more than 8,000 sheep producers from across the UK to Northhouse Farm, Teviothead, Hawick, Roxburghshire, to view a typical Border hill sheep farm run by Ian and Katherine Hepburn and their three sons.

"We've had sheep producers here from all over the country, from Caithness to Wales," said Jack Clark, managing director of St Boswells' auctioneers, John Swan, who chaired the organising committee.

"The day was a great success and a tribute to all the trade stands, sheep breed societies, sponsors and, not least, our local organising committee who put in so much work to ensure a fantastic promotional event for the Scottish sheep industry," said Clark.

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