Increase of €2 in ewe premium sought to pay for tags

Anne Mitchell: Increase Ewe Premium to cover extra cost.
Anne Mitchell: Increase Ewe Premium to cover extra cost.

MINISTER for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has agreed to consider a submission from the IFA on his announcement to introduce compulsory electronic sheep tagging in October.

The IFA will be making the case that it’s unfair for the Minister to lumber farmers with the cost of the new tags when the main benefits will be to the factories, marts, Department and tag suppliers.

IFA President, Joe Healy and IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman, Seán Dennehy, will now make the case in writing for the Minister to ensure that the cost of the electronic tags will not be borne by the farmers.

“The Department has to find a way to ensure that the €2 million cost of the electronic tags (EID) will not be borne by the farmer. We are extremely annoyed and angry with the lack of consultation on this issue by the Minister,” said Seán Dennehy.

As well as the cost factor, the IFA will also make the point that on a practical level it will not be possible to ‘impose’ EID by October, 2018.

“The timing is all wrong in terms of the lamb trade and especially the store lamb trade. It makes no sense and there is no benefit in terms of traceability by using EID in lambs that move from the farm of origin directly to slaughter,” said IFA President, Joe Healy.

According to the IFA, Minister Creed gave a commitment at their meeting  that the marts and factories would operate Central Points of Recording (CPR), providing farmers with their movement documents which can be used for cross compliance purposes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.