APRIL 9, 2009: Sheep farmers are to be asked for their views on the electronic identification of sheep now that the new rule looks set to be implemented.

Defra’s consultation on proposals for the individual movement recording and electronic identification of sheep gives farmers a chance to have their views heard as well as giving the industry the opportunity to look at the finer details of how Government propose the regulation will be implemented, the NFU has said. Alistair Mackintosh, chairman of the NFU’s livestock board, said it was important sheep farmers fed their views into the consultation. He said: “While we remain fundamentally opposed to the individual movement recording of sheep we have to accept that the Commission is determined to begin implementing this regulation from the end of the year. “This consultation will give us a chance to find out from members how they feel this regulation will affect their businesses and to look more closely at the detail of the regulation and try to find ways to minimise its impact. “I should also stress that we are continuing to work with Defra following Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou’s comments at the last Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels which suggested there would be some flexibility regarding the implementation of the regulation. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to make this regulation fit for purpose.” The consultation was launched on March 31 and submissions have to be made by June 23.

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