Electronic sheep tags meet a cold reception

File photo

The extension of electronic identification (EID) to sheep by the Department of Agriculture has gone down “like a lead balloon” with farmers at the marts and factories, said IFA national sheep chairman Sean Dennehy.

Mr Dennehy said Minister Michael Creed’s decision to impose compulsory EID tagging on farmers at a high cost has been exposed badly this week, with most farmers still having to write dispatch dockets in the same way as before in order to go to marts and factories.

“Sheep farmers are very angry that they have been forced to pay for the EID tags and the minister has allowed the factories and marts off the hook. Farmers are now being forced to dump old tags in stock and the minister refuses to allow one EID tag for lambs going to the mart,” he said.

Mr Dennehy said there was significant problems with the new system in some factories this week, with major delays to the kill which in turn impacted on farmers.

Meanwhile, to date, five sheep processing factories have indicated to the department that they will operate as Central Points of Recording (CPRs) for the new EID rules, which were extended to sheep on June 1. Most of the others have applied to department for approval.

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