At a projected additional cost of between €1.05 and €1.10, Mr. Farrell said that compulsory Bovine EID tagging adds over €2.5m in direct costs to suckler and dairy farmers for tags alone, before the purchase of readers is factored in.
“While there are management benefits for some large farms, these farms can and are already using EID. The vast majority of suckler and dairy farms will only experience increased costs for tags and readers, while meat factories, factory feedlots, exporters, marts, Department of Agriculture inspectors and vets will accrue the benefits from compulsory EID,” he said.
He added that the compulsory measure was not an EU requirement but a Department of Agriculture directive.
“EID does not enhance the cattle traceability systems already in place in Ireland. EU legislation requires that all bovines are to be tagged within 20 days of birth and registered on the Department’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database within seven days of tagging,” he said.
Mr. Farrell added that the AIM database is already providing an accurate and comprehensive record of origin, identity, movement, and life history of all cattle born in or imported into the country.
“IFA has previously highlighted these issues in our submission and in meetings with DAFM. The vast majority of benefits associated with EID tagging will not be experienced by the farmer. Many farmers are already in a very low-income enterprise and it’s vital that any additional cost being enforced on them is fully covered.
“Additionally, farmers who have already purchased stocks of non-EID tags must be facilitated past the July 1st, 2022 deadline,” he concluded.