Liam Aylward, MEP for Ireland East and a key negotiator on the Bovine EID Report at the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, has welcomed the decision taken by a majority of MEPs not to impose an unnecessary and costly burden on farmers.

The author of the European Parliament’s previous Report on the future of the Sheep and Goat sector argued during negotiations that against the background of continuing problems with Sheep EID, bovine tagging must remain voluntary.

“Tagging is an issue of great importance and concern to European farmers. The Commission is well aware that the introduction of Sheep EID has been marred with problems from the beginning and that it is a compulsory system which is causing much hardship to farmers.

“I have been contacted by many farmers whose sheep have suffered health problems, unnecessary pain, suffering, injury or infection as a result of tagging technology. Faulty technology and a lack of realism and flexibility from authorities has resulted in fines and increased bureaucracy for farmers.”

The Ireland East MEP stated during the debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today that:

“It is clear that there it is no benefit to make this system compulsory and the voluntary nature will ensure that smaller operators who may not necessarily benefit from the system are not forced to introduce it, therefore avoiding unfair financial and administrative burdens.”