Welsh sheep EID plans raise red tape fears

Lamb producers who have land straddling the border between England and Wales fear they could be burdened with additional regulation when Wales adopts its own sheep EID reporting system.

The electronic system will be specifically tailored for Wales and the Welsh Government has said it will deliver an efficient system of tracing sheep, reducing bureaucracy and providing opportunities to improve profitability.

But farmers say they have been left in the dark on how the service will work for them.

One of their major sources of concern is how border movements will be dealt with if separate databases operate in Wales and England.

Glasnant Morgan, Brecon and Radnor NFU Cymru County Chairman, said it was imperative that the Welsh Government gives assurances that these movements can take place without additional cost or regulation for farmers.

“As farmers we want to make sure that we only need to deal with one point of contact for all our sheep movements and that our statutory reporting requirements remain a free to use service,’’ said Mr Morgan.

“We respect that if we choose to use the database to store and record additional management information above and beyond the statutory minimum that this may come at a cost but this cost must be minimal and not inflated as a result of the cost of transferring information back and for between databases operating in different countries.”

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has already criticised the government for not consulting with the farming industry.

The government says Wales needs to have its own reporting service to safeguard the country’s strong export market.

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