Smith Hopeful of Individual Identification Breakthrough

13 March 2009
Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee has expressed his hopes that a breakthrough can be made on the vexed issue of individual identification of sheep and goats.

This comes in the wake of news that EU farm ministers will be re-examining the regulation when they meet on 23-24 March.

Smith said:

"I am absolutely delighted to see this breakthrough. That the EU farm ministers are going to sit down and revisit these unnecessary and cumbersome rules gives all of those who have been campaigning against the introduction real hope that some good sense can finally be applied to this regulation before it is too late.

"I think this is definitely a case of better late than never. While we in Scotland have been vocal in our opposition to this regulation for some time now, we have only recently seen other EU member states wake up to the implications of this directive. That said, both German and Hungarian support is very welcome and will only serve to strengthen our case.

"It is by no means a closed case and there remains much to be done between now and the 23rd March. It is absolutely vital that we continue to hit home to the other member states just how disastrous this regulation will be if it is implemented as it stands now and I will be doing all in my power to do just that. Ministerial support is crucial if we want to see this revised."