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Plans to electronically tag sheep costly and unnecessary

October 16, 2008 9:33 AM

Tim on a quad bike on a hill farmShadow Secretary of State for DEFRA, Tim Farron MP spoke in parliament yesterday during a debate on electronic sheep identification to urge Minister Jane Kennedy to reconsider proposals to electronically tag sheep.

Mr Farron warned the Government to be vigilant against the risk of foot and mouth; but not at the expense of farming interests.

During the debate Mr Farron said:

"In my area, farmers will need no lessons in the traumas of disease after bluetongue and foot and mouth. Does the government also understand the impact of these measures on farmers, particularly hill farmers?

"The risk of foot and mouth is huge and we must be vigilant; but so is the risk of sacrificing our sheep industry on the altar of expensive and pointless regulation like this.

"We need to weigh the benefits and the risks. Electronic ID won't work and it will be incredibly expensive - forcing many local farmers out of business. Forcing through Electronic ID will put our whole sheep industry at risk in return for no additional security"