DONEGAL beef and dairy
farmers will have to electronically tag their
cattle's ears after MEPs approved legislation this
However, to reduce the cost implications, cattle
tagging will be optional for the first five years.
The move follows the introduction of sheep tagging
across the EU and is designed to improve food
Fianna Fáil MEP Liam Aylward said: “Member states
including Ireland should take the flexibility
offered in the package to effectively utilise the
five-year transition period and ensure that farmers
and indeed animal welfare are not negatively
impacted,” he said.
Mr Aylward also warned of widespread infections
caused by electronic identification tags which he
said was "contrary to all good farming practice".
Separately, Donegal T.D., Charlie McConalogue called
for the appointment of a regulator for the beef
sector to "create a more equitable balance of power
between the farmer and the processor".
“The beef sector is an integral part of the Irish
agri-food industry and is worth €2bn a year to the
economy. However, over the past 12 months we have
witnessed a collapse in bull beef prices with
factories shifting the goal posts on producers.
“Beef producers are being penalised by processors
who are changing specifications of age and weight
and refusing to slaughter cattle. This has caused
prices to plummet.
"If the Government is serious about achieving the
Food Harvest 2020 targets for the beef industry and
about protecting the national herd, it needs to
establish a beef regulator to balance the powers of
processors and retailers," he said.