Defra proposes electronic batch tagging only

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is continuing to fight red tape in the farming industry as Defra proposes to introduce electronic batch tagging for slaughter lambs.

The proposal made by Defra came in a meeting between the two organisations about the potential impact of changes to livestock movement rules following the Macdonald Red Tape Review. If carried out, the potential cost for farmers upgrading the tags from non-electronic could be as much as 55p per lamb.

Livestock board chairman for the NFU Charles Sercombe agreed there should be a simpler system of livestock movement control, but feared the current proposals could increase red tape and affect the way farmers run their business.

Sercombe said: “The removal of the non-electronic tags for slaughter lambs will also come as a further cost to industry. The NFU has always been clear that the tag choice should be driven by the market and the demands of the buyer, rather than by regulation, but we will examine every solution to minimise the cost on farming businesses. This meeting comes on the back of a high-level EU meeting earlier this week in Brussels, where we again made the case for tolerance on sheep EID.”