Scottish sheep industry leaders are to press for a review of EID legislation in a meeting with Europe’s agriculture commissioner-designate Phil Hogan.
Mr Hogan has confirmed that a review of EID remains on the table and will meet the Scottish delegation in the coming weeks.
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Leader of the delegation, MEP Alyn Smith,. said; “I promised Scotland’s farmers that I will not let EID rest, and I was glad of Mr Hogan’s promise to look at ways to improve this legislation.
“I have suggested to the commissioner that Scotland’s National Sheep Association (NSA) and I will get a dossier of suggestions to him ahead of the meeting.”
NSA Scotland development officer George Milne added that a complete review of the EID legislation was required.
“If we could have the option of only tagging sheep when they’re leaving a holding, we’d get a higher percentage of tags staying in, there would be better read rates and less cost to the farmer while still delivering the same health and movement requirements,” he said.
Mr Milne said a meeting with the new commissioner would give the sheep industry a glimmer of hope. “We’ll do all we can to help simplify the rules on EID,” he added.
NFU Scotland livestock committee chairman Charlie Adam said a review of EID would be completely justified and also welcomed by England, Wales, Ireland and France.
“There is still a general anxiety about EID, based on the fact that if the rules were applied as they’re written, they would be impossible to achieve and people would be in penalty,” he said. “We’re very keen to see more workable rules.”
Any change to the EID rules would require the support of DG Sanco, the European Commission’s health and consumer affairs directorate.