7 November 2001
Sheep farmers oppose tagging plans

By Alistair Driver in Malvern

LIVESTOCK farmers have vowed to oppose government proposals to introduce individual identification for sheep.

National Sheep Association chief executive John Thorley said officials had told him of proposals for every sheep to be individually identified twice.

Speaking at the Associations conference in Malvern on Wednesday (7 November) he said the proposals would involved too much paperwork.

He said he made his opposition clear there and then because the new measures would be impractical for sheep farmers.

“We have approached the Meat and Livestock Commission to act a broker to develop a system that our industry could cope with,” he said

Mr Thorley also hit out at comments made by Food and Farming Minister Lord Whitty earlier the same day.

“I am concerned at the fact that he believes the 20-day standstill will be a part of the future,” Mr Thorley said.

Referring to a impromptu vote taken after a conference speech by Lord Whitty, Mr Thorley said the industry could not cope with the rule.

Farmers now needed to find a means to take the movement rule, proposed in the wake of foot-and-mouth, out of the equation, he added.

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