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Agriculture: Sheep

Volume 700: debated on Tuesday 25 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What benefits, additional to those of the existing double ear-tagging of sheep, would be brought by electronic implant tagging. [HL2421]

A partial regulatory impact assessment which identifies the benefits of electronic identification has been prepared. This is available on the Defra website.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the fact that after 10 years' research no discernible trace of BSE has been discovered in sheep, they will seek from the European Union a derogation exempting the United Kingdom sheep flock from additional tracing costs arising from the proposed electronic tagging. [HL2422]

No. Council Regulation 21/2004 was put in place to address animal traceability issues identified during the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001. It was not introduced to address concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 25 February (WA 97), whether they will carry out full-scale trials before implementation of the directive requiring the electronic tagging of sheep by 2009. [HL2423]

Pilot trials have already been carried out in the UK. A report on the English pilot trial is available on the Defra website.