NFUS poised for EID court challenge

NFU Scotland is considering a legal challenge on rules governing electronic identification of sheep.

The Scottish union has prepared a brief for its lawyers to investigate whether the EU Commission’s EID rules and any penalties on non-compliance can be challenged in court. The move follows requests from members who are struggling to comply with EID rules.

If the decision is made to proceed, the union has confirmed that it has funds in place to pursue the case.

NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said: “Legal opinions, by their nature, are rarely definitive but we will study any legal feedback we receive very closely.

“There may be no case to pursue or there may be matters that we can take up in court – either here or in Europe. If we decide there is a case then given the likely time and considerable cost involved, such a decision would require very careful consideration and ratification by the NFUS board of directors.

“The union has taken up legal challenges in the past. These have been costly exercises but given the problems EID has caused, we can reassure our members we do have a level of contingency funds in place if we do go down the legal route.”

The Scottish Government has been kept informed of the decision.

Mr Walker added: “Our long-term goal remains securing wholesale changes to the requirements that sheep keepers have to meet. That requires re-opening and reviewing the regulation and that remains our main focus.