Revisions of electronic tagging of sheep scheme are “token” - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and Marine Martin Kenny TD, has described Minister Creed’s revisions of the extension of mandatory electronic identification (EID) to all sheep as “a token attempt at compensation”.
Deputy Kenny said:
“While I welcome the transition period for the introduction of mandatory electronic identification of all sheep from October 2018 to June 2019, I take issue with the Minister’s token attempt at compensation to sheep farmers for this increased cost of production.
“The price of EID tags, compared to the current slaughter tag for lambs, is four times greater and for EID tags, compared to current mart tags, it is three times greater.
“This means that the Minister’s proposed maximum compensation of €100 will not cover the cost of tagging 100 lambs either for slaughter tags or mart tags.
“The recent Teagasc Situation and Outlook report for July 2018 indicates that sheep farm costs of production have risen 12% this year compared to last year and that even though lamb prices are better than last year, profit margins are set to decline by 8% compared to last year.
“I made the proposal when the Minister announced the introduction of mandatory EID tagging for all sheep that it should be incorporated into the Sheep Welfare Scheme by increasing the payment from €10 to €15 per ewe.
“I believe the Minister could still do this in Budget 2019, if he wished, and it would be a much needed help to farmers have gone through one of the worst years for a long time and are facing into another tough winter with fodder shortages imminent.”