Skip to main content

Sheep: Ear Tagging

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects of implementing the proposals for electronic identification of sheep on (a) the sheep industry and (b) hill farmers. (227533)

A Regulatory Impact Assessment has been produced for England, a copy of which is available on the DEFRA website. An updated version to take account of changes to Council Regulation 21/2004 that were negotiated over the summer and more detailed implementation options will accompany the consultation that is planned for the spring.

Electronic identification of sheep is an EU requirement, but the administration and implementation of it is an issue for devolved administrations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the European Commission on the effects of electronic identification on the UK sheep industry. (227537)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met with Commissioner Vassiliou on 29 September to press for a review of Council Regulation 21/2004, which provides for the mandatory implementation of electronic identification (EID).

The Commissioner indicated that there were no plans for a review of the Regulation before 31 December 2009 when EID is due to be implemented.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has had with farmers' representatives from (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales on the European Commission's plans for electronic identification of sheep. (227538)

The implementation and administration of electronic identification (EID) of sheep in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales is an issue for the devolved administrations.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did however meet with representatives of the NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Wales, National Sheep Association, British Meat processors Association, Livestock Auctioneers Association and the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers on 30 June to discuss EID.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has had with his counterparts in each of the devolved administrations on the European Commission's plans for electronic identification of sheep. (227539)

As part of the normal course of business, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State talks to his devolved counterparts on a variety of issues, including electronic identification (EID). DEFRA officials also meet with their devolved counterparts to discuss EID on a regular basis.

A UK EID Project Board has also been established, which includes representatives of the devolved administrations, to take decisions on EID on a UK basis.