Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Last week’s decision by the European Commission not to accept the need for tolerances when reading Sheep EID tags makes it practically impossible for farmers and the sheep supply chain to adhere to current movement recording rules according to UK and Irish farmers leaders.

Livestock Chairmen from the IFA, NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the UFU came together in Cardiff yesterday to discuss the latest developments from Brussels and agree the next steps that the Unions will take to try to bring some common sense to the commission’s thinking.

NFUS Vice-President, Allan Bowie who was at the meeting said:

“Without tolerances, individual recording in Scotland’s extensive sheep systems is simply not possible. This hard line approach to cross compliance goes against all previous assurances from the Commission and would place every sheep farmer in Scotland in a position of non-compliance.

“Scotland has worked hard since the introduction of this regulation to establish a system that delivers effective traceability, but the Commission must be prepared to implement the regulation in a way that accepts the limitations of the technology.

“Without some flexibility from the Commission we will be left with a Regulation that, despite their best efforts, the industry cannot comply with and will leave many producers questioning their future at a time where confidence is otherwise quite high.

“We have made our thoughts about the situation very clear and will have further opportunity to do so over the next two days as we embark on a series of face-to-face meetings with Commission officials from DG-SANCO and DG-AGRI.”