New European rules on the electronic identification of sheep, due to bephased in from next year, must be revisited, according to Scottish rural affairs secretaryRichard Lochhead.

Mr Lochhead will again press the UK Government to make the strongest possible representations to the European Commission when he meets with Hilary Benn, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, and ministers from other parts of the UK today (June 2).

Tagged sheep Ahead of the meeting, Mr Lochhead said: “Although Europe has made some concessions – delaying the original introduction date and allowing for the regulations to be phased in – they don’t go far enough.

“Our sheep farmers deserve our support and in Scotland those farming on the hills currently face difficulties which will potentially be compounded by the introduction of the new sheep tagging rules.

“We fully support greater disease control but any benefits for traceability can be outweighed by the costs and practical obstacles of putting them in place.

“Any regulations must take into account circumstances and conditions in Scotland and I’ll be seeking Hilary Benn’s support to ensure this is the case.”

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