Another Front Opened Against EID

Alyn Smith MEP, full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, has supported European Parliament efforts to force the European Commission to conduct a full scale review into the legislation on electronic identification of sheep (EID).

Alyn has added his name to a growing list of MEPs who have signed up to a European Parliament Written Declaration which highlights the technical deficiencies of EID, and the widespread concerns over the possible associated administrative burden and cross-compliance penalties. The Written Declaration calls on the European Commission to not only launch a review into the regulation but also to grant a derogation up to 2016 for the recording of individual movements for the entire sheep flock.

Alyn said:

"This is a welcome initiative by my fellow MEPs, and I am very pleased to add my name in support.

"Despite recent progress on EID, the European Commission must face the fact that, as things stand, the technology that was expected to be up and running by the date that was set for implementation is not what it needs to be and it is our farmers who will pay the price. The European Parliament must continue to do all that it can to pressure for the necessary changes to the regulation to make this fit for purpose in any shape or form.

"In the recent Commission proposal on bovine EID it is recognised that there is still the potential for EID to be inaccurate. So if the Commission sees it, and the Parliament sees it, and certainly Scotland's farmers see it, then what are we waiting for? There needs to be a review and it needs to be done now."

A Written Declaration is a text of a maximum of 200 words on a matter falling within the European Union’s sphere of activities. MEPs can use Written Declarations to launch or relaunch a debate on a subject that comes within the EU’s remit. To be adopted, a Written Declaration needs to gather the signatures of an absolute majority of MEPs.