Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says sheep farmers should not be expected to foot the full cost of electronic tagging for their flocks.
All sheep sold from 1st October this year will have to be electronically tagged.
Deputy Mac Sharry explained, “While I have no issue with the principle of electronic tagging, and actually believe that it is the right step, the cost to farmers is substantial and I don’t think it’s fair. These EID tags are around 75c more expensive than the traditional tags and with over 928,000 sheep across Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon, that will amount to a significant increase in costs for farmers in this region.
“Sheep farming is a low income sector and farmers can ill afford to be forking out more money on tagging. For many it is the last straw.
“Minister Creed has admitted that he expects an underspend in the Sheep Welfare Scheme – this money should be used to help cover the costs for electronic tagging, and relieve the burden on hard pressed farmers.
“To slap additional costs on sheep farmers at this point in time is deeply unfair. I would urge the Minister to seriously consider allocating some of the Sheep Welfare Scheme underspend to cover the cost of EID tagging”.