The introduction of compulsory electronic tagging (EID) by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and his Department has been labelled a "solo run" by the president of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA), Colm O'Donnell.

O’Donnell said: "This announcement has connotations of the botched fodder aid package implemented by the Department which was contrary to what was agreed by the stakeholder’s action group and of little or no benefit to the effected farmers. This move to full EID needs the input of the farmers producing the lambs to advise on the most effective transition to introduce compulsory EID tagging. Picking the date 1 October, right in the middle of the store lamb trading season, shows just how out of touch our Department is with the industry."

"If they insist with the start date tagging derogation's to use slaughter tags for all store lamb movements between now and then will have to be given where these lambs are slaughtered after 1 October”.

The INHFA is calling on Minister Creed and his officials to engage with all industry stakeholders before progressing any further on the introduction date for compulsory EID if he wants to simplify the sheep tagging system and reduce record keeping requirements for sheep farmers.

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