EU Opposition To EID Keeps Growing

01 June 2009
The campaign against EU plans to introduce mandatory individual identification of sheep and goats has today (Monday) received the support of the Austrian Government.

In response to a joint letter sent by Scottish MEP Alyn Smith to all of the EU's Agriculture Ministers, Austria's Department for Agriculture has responded stating that "...Austria considers the obligatory introduction of electronic identification to be problematic." The letter continues to confirm that the Austrians "...advocate the request of avoiding obligatory electronic identification and choosing optional electronic identification."

The Austrian response comes in the wake of similar letters of support from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ireland who have all confirmed their support of Smith's proposed solution to the current EID regulations of making the scheme voluntary rather than compulsory.

Alyn Smith MEP, Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, said:

"Yet again good news in the fight against EID! Each country that comes forward with a clear and determined stance against the introduction of compulsory electronic tagging is another step forward for this campaign.

"And we are getting there. The Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Irish and now Austrians are supporting our moves and I remain confident that similar responses will continue to come into my office in the next few weeks.

"I will not let this rest. The support is there across the EU and I want to see this brought back on to the Council agenda. I am only after one small change - just make this regulation voluntary. For those farmers who feel that EID offers benefits for their stock management practices then let them use the technology but do not force it on an industry that is in no position to take on these extra costs."