MEP works to help sheep farmers with EID costs

HELP could be on the way for sheep farmers faced with having to pay out hefty sums in order to comply with sheep EID legislation.

Plaid MEP, Jill Evans, has welcomed the support of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee for a call to set up a multi-million pound fund to help farmers deal with the implementation of the controversial tagging measures.

She has been working with farming unions, MEPs and Welsh Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, to try and halt European Commission plans for compulsory EID and wants to see a voluntary scheme instead.

But as the date for compulsory implementation approaches, she says there are serious concerns over the level of support in place to help farmers cope with the financial impact.

“We will continue our opposition to compulsory EID, but I want to be sure that adequate financial support is made available for farmers if the European Commission fails to change the policy,” said Ms Evans, speaking from Brussels.

“I am delighted fellow MEPs have backed an amendment to call for a €125,000,000 EID Relief Fund which, if the worst comes to the worst, would help farmers cope with the costs of implementing the scheme.

“But I still hope it does not get to that stage. We have clearly shown how disastrous such a scheme would be for sheep farmers and how hugely expensive and impossible it will be to implement.

“Nonetheless, we have to be prepared for the worst and I have informed Elin Jones to ensure that Welsh farmers will be able to access relief funding if this proposal is supported by the full Parliament.

“In the meantime I will continue to campaign for plans to be delayed, if not scrapped altogether.”

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