More than 130 sheep farmers attended the opening NFU Scotland/NSA Scotland roadshow meeting in Thainstone, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire last night to receive an update on controversial EU proposals on sheep movements and electronic identification (EID). The roadshow will move on to Stirling, Perth and Oban in the next few days with further meetings around Scotland next week.
Due to demand, next week’s meeting in the Borders, taking place on Tuesday, 1 September at 7.30pm, has been moved to a bigger venue and will now be held in the auction mart at Newton St Boswells courtesy of John Swan Ltd.
European Regulation 21/2004, due to come into force from the end of this year, will make it obligatory for all Scottish sheep keepers to electronically tag sheep born after this date and keep a record of each animal’s individual identity every time they move. Derogation from electronic tagging may be available for lambs entering the food chain.
NFU Scotland and NSA Scotland believe the new rules will bring no real benefit and the proposals are soundly opposed by the whole Scottish sheep sector.
Speaking after the meeting in Thainstone, NFU Scotland Vice-President Nigel Miller said:
“We continue to oppose the regulations at a European level, and we are working closely with Scottish Government to look at where further flexibility may lie within the regulation. Much has been said about electronic identification (EID) and confusion is understandably rife over exactly what the regulations will require producers to do.
“These meetings help set out what the responsibilities of producers are likely to be from 1 January 2010. There are still some uncertainties depending upon how the regulation is implemented here in Scotland and the Scottish Government’s own consultation on this is expected soon.
“It is already clear from our first meeting that the feedback we receive from sheep producers at these roadshows will be crucial when it comes to responding to the Scottish Government consultation. If Scottish sheep farmers have to accept this damaging regulation, then a more pragmatic system and a significant amount of flexibility will be required if further erosion to the numbers of sheep kept in Scotland is to be avoided.
“Every sheep farmer is encouraged to attend one of these meetings, turnout at Thainstone was excellent and we have been forced to move our meeting in the Borders to John Swan’s auction market at Newton St Boswells to cater for the expected numbers.”
roadshow meetings are as follows:
|Thursday 27 August
||UA Agricultural Centre, Stirling
|Friday 28 August
||Dewars Centre, Perth
|Friday 28 August
|Monday 31 August
||Urr Valley Hotel, Castle Douglas
|Tuesday 1 September
||John Swan Ltd Auction Mart, Newton St Boswells
|Wednesday 2 September
|Thursday 3 September
||Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness
|Friday 4 September
||Quoybrae Mart, Thurso
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