Financial support for NI sheep industry

Live auction marts, abattoirs, export assembly centres and slaughter collection centres in Northern Ireland have been awarded £250,000 to help them meet the cost of implementing EID.

“I have pledged all along to do my best to secure financial assistance to help the industry with the transition to sheep EID, and can confirm that £250,000 will be made available,” said agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew.

The money will help operators meet the cost of reading sheep EID tags and complete movement documentation on behalf of flock keepers. “This will greatly help keepers, as they will not have to buy or use EID readers for movements to these premises.”

The minister also clarified that, for movements to approved premises, the keeper will not need to list the tag numbers on the movement document.

“The keeper will only need to complete the general information, such as their flock number, the number of animals moved and the registration number of the transporter. The keeper will be given a list of tag numbers after the sheep arrive, which must be kept with the movement document.”

Any market, abattoir or other premises, that wishes to read tags on behalf of keepers must be approved by the department of agriculture (DARD) and will be known as a Central Point of Recording, or CPR.

Mrs Gildernew also indicated that she was trying to secure funding to help flock keepers purchase EID tags in the future. “I have asked my officials to progress this as a matter of urgency.”