2013-01-30 xml twitter
EID May No Longer be Linked to Cross Compliance

Last week MEPs in Brussels voted on many amendments to the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from 2014 to 2020 – but the one that has particularly kindled hope for UK sheep farmers is removing the link between electronic identification of sheep and cross compliance. They will all be keeping their fingers crossed that this amendment to the policy survives the next round of negotiations.

The threat of losing a percentage of their Single Farm Payment is a constant worry for sheep farmers when they are dealing with technology that they cannot guarantee will be 100% accurate, for reasons outside their control. Removing this threat would not only be good for them but also potentially encourage other farms to reintroduce sheep to their enterprises, as currently they are aware of the advantages of sheep as a grazing tool but feel they cannot risk having them on the unit.

ewe and lambs

photo © Jennifer MacKenzie

Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: “We should not underestimate the work that has gone on to get us to this position, such as providing evidence of the level of practical accuracy of EID technology and convincing key influencers that cross compliance penalties based on EID failures is unfair and risks damaging the success of the sheep industry. This is a very welcome step forward but we need to keep up our work and we will not get to the finish line until EID is not associated with cross compliance penalties.”

George Milne, Development Officer for NSA Scotland, said: “MEPs must be congratulated for taking this decision on EID of sheep, as although it still has to be approved by the full parliament, it is a significant step forward. If this is fully approved it will bring a huge relief to farmers across the country who become extremely concerned about trying to achieve an unrealistic target of 100% accuracy in recording sheep movements.”

National Sheep Association

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