The National Farmers Union (NFU) has backed plans to change EU rules on the electronic identification of sheep (EID), tabled by UK MEPs to help deliver “a practical system of traceability and disease control”.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has backed plans to change EU rules on the electronic identification of sheep (EID).

MEPs from across the UK have tabled amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy to introduce an element of tolerance into the EID rules after heavy lobbying from British farming unions.

Farmers feel 100% accuracy on EID is often not possible.Unions from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have pushed for the changes as farmers feel 100% accuracy on EID is often not possible.

Peter Garbutt, NFU chief livestock advisor, said UK farmers had worked closely with MEPs to advise them on sheep EID and would give their full backing to the proposed amendments.

He said: “Right from the outset the NFU has lobbied to make the rules on sheep EID fair and workable. It is clear that we need a practical system of traceability and disease control but that the current regulation is not delivering this.

“It instead gives farmers a set of complex rules and regulations that often fall down because of technology failures that are nothing to do with the farmer.

“We have worked tirelessly to get this message across to policy makers in Brussels and so it is good to see the response from UK MEPs. We will continue to work closely with the MEPs to make sure their amendments get the full backing from the European Parliament when it comes to a vote.”

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