With official inspections of Scottish sheep farms likely to
start in the next few days, NFU Scotland is urging its members
to ensure they are aware of all sheep identification rules. Despite
foot and mouth restrictions, Scottish Executive officials will
be undertaking cross-compliance inspections, following strict
Sheep identification rules were the subject of roadshows held
by the Executive in February and March this year. The rules for
2007 remain unchanged from 2006.
In 2006, some changes were introduced, following discussions between
NFUS and the Executive, to reduce the bureaucratic burden on farmers.
These included a five-mile concession which allows farmers to move sheep
between their holdings and any temporary grazing area, providing they
are not more than five miles apart, without having to record the movement
and inform the central movement unit. Likewise, for permanently leased
land, farmers can amalgamate their farm holding numbers (County Parish
Holding (CPH) numbers) to avoid having to record movements between holdings.
Importantly, both these concessions will avoid farmers having to maintain
separate sets of flock records for each unit. However, farmers must inform
their local animal health office if they want to use these concessions.
NFUS members can obtain a factsheet from the Union explaining the rules
by phoning 0131 472 4000.
NFUS Vice President Nigel Miller said:
“There have been a lot of changes to sheep ID rules in recent
years but there are no new rules for 2007. Whilst there has been a lot
of recent discussion on the future of sheep ID in Scotland, the rules
which applied in 2006 also apply this year.
“It was clear at the Scottish Executive road shows earlier this
year that producers have a lot of questions about how the system operates.
With official inspections starting up shortly, it is important that farmers
know all the dos and don’ts on sheep tagging and movement records.
Sheep ID rules are part of cross-compliance so any problems can have
real implications for a farmer’s Single Farm Payment. As always
we will be working with the Executive to ensure proportionate action
if they uncover any problems during inspections.
“In the meantime, I’d encourage farmers to remind themselves
again of the rules to avoid any hassle at inspection.”
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