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Farron calls for EID to be made voluntary following DEFRA announcement

January 28, 2009 9:13 AM

Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has described today's announcement that farmers in England will not have to tag sheep intended for slaughter before they are 12 months old as a "welcome relaxation" of the new EID rules.

In the wake of the announcement, Mr Farron reiterated his call for the Government to pressure the EU into making sure that sheep tagging is not made a compulsory requirement for English farmers

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The derogation is a welcome relaxation and will reduce the burden on many farmers, but it will add to the complications for abattoirs and auction marts.

"This move does not change the fact that EID for sheep is expensive, impractical and above all unnecessary.

"Instead of negotiating loopholes to minimise its impact; the Government should be pressuring the EU to make its introduction voluntary and not mandatory."