At an additional cost of €1.05-€1.10, Pat Farrell said that compulsory bovine EID tagging adds over €2.5m in costs to suckler and dairy farmers for tags alone, before purchasing readers is factored in.

“While there are management benefits for some large farms, these farms can and are already using EID.

“The vast majority of suckler and dairy farms will only experience increased costs for tags and readers.

“At the same time, meat factories, factory feedlots, exporters, marts, Department of Agriculture inspectors and vets will accrue the benefits from compulsory EID,” he said.

Compulsory Bovine EID is not an EU requirement. This is a Department of Agriculture decision.

EID does not enhance the cattle traceability systems already in place in Ireland. EU legislation requires that all bovines be tagged within 20 days of birth and registered on the Department’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database within seven days of tagging.

Many farmers are already in a very low-income enterprise and any additional cost being enforced on them must be fully covered

The AIM database is already providing an accurate and comprehensive database detailing the origin, identity, movement and life history of all cattle born in or imported into the country without compulsory EID.

The IFA has previously highlighted these issues in its submission and meetings with the Department.

“The farmer will not experience the vast majority of benefits associated with EID tagging. Many farmers are already in a very low-income enterprise and any additional cost being enforced on them must be fully covered.”

Additionally, Farrell said that farmers who have already purchased stocks of non-EID tags must be facilitated past the 1 July 2022 deadline.

IFA hosts British ambassador on family farm

Last week, IFA president Tim Cullinan hosted the British ambassador, Paul Johnston, on the farm of Ronan Delany, who runs a mixed drystock enterprise in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.

Topics discussed during the visit included the impact of Brexit, the UK-Ireland trading relationship, the UK’s pursuit of trade agreements outside of the EU and their potential impact on the agriculture sectors in the UK and Ireland, as well as the future growth and sustainability of the sector in the UK, Europe and globally.