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Monday, 22 September 2008

MEP says NO to compulsory electronic tagging for sheep

Plaid MEP Jill Evans is joining forces with other MEPs in the European Parliament to amend European Commission plans for compulsory electronic tagging of sheep (EID). The MEPs are launching a cross party campaign in Brussels today (Tuesday) in an attempt to force the European Commission to rethink its plans.They have put forward a written declaration to the European Parliament (similar to an Early Day Motion at Westminster) for sheep EID to be voluntary and not compulsory and they are asking other MEP's to sign.Speaking from Brussels ahead of the launch, the Plaid MEP said:"Farmers are telling me quite clearly that they are totally opposed to this plan for compulsory electronic tagging."For the 41% of farms in Wales that are sheep producers, the scheme would be costly to implement and would simply be impractical. The technology used for EID seems to have many flaws; trials have shown difficulties operating the IT system in different weather conditions which would prove particularly more challenging for upland farmers in Wales."This scheme is unworkable and unnecessary."The Welsh farming unions are also opposed to the scheme and I hope that by getting support from them and other MEP's on this issue we will be able to send a clear message to the Commission."In the European Parliament a written declaration needs to be signed by a majority of members within three months in order to be recorded in the official minutes as the Parliament's position and communicated to other relevant EU institutions.

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