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Wales must oppose compulsory EID until equipment secures confidence of the industry - Mick Bates AM

2009 Medi 29 3:12 PM

Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Mick Bates AM, has criticised theWelsh Government for failing to protect the Welsh farming industry fromthe impacts of EID and states Wales must continue to oppose theregulation until EID equipment secures the confidence of the industry.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick Bates stated:

"In Wales we have nearly nine million sheep so the impact of compulsoryelectronic identification of sheep will be widespread. Farm incomes aredecreasing and farmers can ill afford to spend their income on EID.This technology could cost thousands of pounds and will produce noadditional benefits for identifying and tracing sheep than the currentsystem offers."

The latest Hybu Cig Cymru/WAG report showed significant reading issueson farm, at markets and at abattoir with only an 80% reading of tags atbest.

Mick adds: "The reliability and accuracy of equipment used for EIDfalls far short of what is needed to individually record all sheep inWales. There are many issues with compatibility, as well as problemswith electrical interference at markets and abattoirs and faults in wetand cold conditions.

"Farmers can ill afford to adopt a system which is so unreliable and bepenalised with reductions in payments because equipment forced upon themfails to deliver. It is crucial that Wales continues the fight againstthe imposition of this regulation, until assured that the equipment willwork as closely as possible to 100% accuracy."