Commission Savaged Over EID In Agri Committee

13 July 2010
SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has today written to the President of the Agriculture Committee Paolo de Castro urging the Committee to produce an initiative report into the implementation of EID in sheep across the EU. 
The suggestion came after a debate in the Committee yesterday at the instigation of the German Christian Democrats as problems in EID implementation in Germany become increasingly apparent.

In a terse meeting, MEPs lined up to savage the Commission representatives, who responded with little new, except a little comfort on the spectre of cross compliance.

Speaking after the meeting, Smith said:

"It is frustrating that other countries are now discovering precisely the problems we said they would.  If any other member state is seriously suggesting they are not having problems implementing EID then they are not implementing it properly.

"As I said in the Committee, it behoves us to not just pass legislation as the Committee and Parliament did many years ago before my election, but to monitor the implementation too, and if it does not do what it says on the tin then we need to revisit the whole regulation.

"We are not raising this to be unhelpful - quite the reverse - for the EU to embark on schemes that bring EU rules into disrepute makes everyone lose faith in the system, and the fact is that people are walking away from sheep farming.  Lamb, remember, is indigenous, grass-fed protein, and losing the industry is of real significance to the EU's food security.

"The Committee should keep this on the agenda, and an inquiry into the subject would be a useful way to keep this to the fore, and leave Scotland's sheep farmers in no doubt that we are not abandoning them to struggle with a flawed regulation and imperfect technology."