18 April 2000
Sheep men face 6m tagging bill
EVERY one of the 44 million sheep in Britain must be earmarked or tattooed with their place of birth under new plans announced by the government.
The move – which could cost the industry more than 6m in the first year and 3.25m annually thereafter – was ordered by Brussels, reports TheDaily Telegraph.
The newspaper reports that the EU has already launched legal action against Britain for refusing to fully implement a directive to ensure that all lambs can be traced to their farm of origin.
Writer and animal welfare campaigner Carla Lane had complained to the European Commission in December that live sheep exports were breaking the directive.
Under the scheme, due to come into force on 1 September, anyone keeping sheep will face fines of up to 5000 a time if they fail to have their animals marked.
Britains 77,000 goats are also covered by the proposals released by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Brussels is insisting on better traceability to control scrapie.
In its editorial, The Telegraph says the move “illustrates the ease with which those ill-disposed towards farming can persuade the EC to put a spoke in our wheel”.
- NSA warns of tag troubles, FWi, 17 December, 1998
- Tag and tattoo costs are high, FWi,. 24 October, 1997
- The Telegraph 18/04/2000 page 10 and 29
- The Guardian 18/04/2000 page 6