Union Welcomes EID Delay for Historic Flock

NFU Scotland has warmly welcomed a decision taken by the EU Commission to extend the deadline for the compulsory electronic tagging of sheep born before 1 January 2010 to the end of 2014.

The requirement to electronically tag the so called ‘Historic Flock’ had originally been scheduled to come into force at the end of December 2011, but sustained lobbying efforts have resulted in an extension to this deadline, which was formally endorsed by the Standing Committee for Food Chain and Animal Health yesterday (6 December 2011).  

There has been no obligation for animals born before 1 January 2010 to be electronically identified or individually recorded. The requirement to individually record the movements of these older sheep represented a substantial administrative burden, requiring manual recording of individual numbers or upgrading animals to electronic tags.

Livestock Policy Manager for NFU Scotland, Penny Johnston said:

“The original deadline of December 2011 for all these older animals to be electronically tagged was really rubbing salt in the wounds of farmers who are already struggling to keep on top of all the requirements associated with cumbersome EID regulations. 

“The UK Government made the request for a delay on behalf of farming Unions in an effort to ease some of the increasing burden on farmers of sheep EID, and while a compromise, we are delighted with the result.

“Part of the compromise is that there will be no extension to the derogation beyond 2014. So although this isn’t a permanent solution, the extension from the end of this year to the end of 2014 will significantly reduce the number of older animals likely to be affected.

“The news represents a welcome reprieve for the industry, and we see it as recognition from officials of the very real problems being faced by our farmers on the ground in working with this regulation.

“The unnecessary requirement to record the individual identities of older sheep is just one of the many aspects of sheep EID that NFU Scotland has been working hard to change. The Union is meeting with Scottish Government and other stakeholders today at a Sheep EID Summit to press upon Government the other aspects of the regulation that need urgent attention.”


Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020


Date Published:

News Article No.: 192/11

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