Smith Welcomes Dutch Evidence and German Support on Sheep EID

10 November 2008
Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today (Monday) released a summary of evidence presented to a meeting in Brussels on Electronic ID of sheep.

The meeting heard from Dutch farming organisations of their experience in trialling EID, and that it cut income from sheep by a third if implemented as well as proving unworkable and inefficient. The note is reproduced below.

Smith said:

"The EID fight goes on, and today's meeting proves that Scotland is ahead of the game in recognising that the EID proposals, though well-meaning, are flawed and unworkable, and in fact are a step backwards from best practice as well as an economic disaster for sheep farming.

"The Dutch evidence proves that the additional economic cost, not to mention time and energy, is 6.62 euro per sheep, as well as the additional costs for readers. That would be enough to turn our already dreadful destocking trickle into a torrent.

"I'm also glad to hear that the German farming organisations are also waking up to this as an issue, and their representative pledged his support for the anti-EID campaign. I hope he will now persuade the German MEPs to do likewise.

"Our cross party and cross country Written Declaration remains on the table for signature, and I hope that we can round up as many MEPs as possible to support the cause. Likewise, the massive petition signed by over 8000 people in the industry is with the petitions committee, andtheir investigation will throw up real hard facts about the workability and efficiency of these proposals.

"The Scottish and Welsh trials of EID will also generate data which I will not be shy of using to highlight that the EID scheme must be made voluntary, because in the current obligatory form it will provoke an exodus from Scotland's hills at a time when we need to do all we can to support local food production."