A proposal to simplify rules on sheep EID failed to get support in the European parliament last night with 265 votes for but 360 votes against.
The amendment, put forward by Alyn Smith MEP, full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee would have enabled member states to allow a derogation from the need to double-tag sheep with an individual ID number until the animal left the holding of birth: instead, a single manual tag with a holding ID number would have sufficed.
Charles Sercombe, Chairman of the EU Commission Advisory group on sheep commented "It is frustrating to see another opportunity to simplify a needlessly complicated system defeated.
"With many farmers across the EU seeing cross compliance fines, and less than 100% read rates commonplace, more needs to be done in Europe on this issue, and I would urge NFU members to raise this issue with their MEPs in the run up to the European elections as well as their MPs to back up the work done by the NFU both in Westminster and in Brussels. The NFU has repeatedly asked for EID to be simplified since its introduction."
As this was a role call vote, the UK Farming Union's Brussels' office can report that:
- No UK MEP voted against the amendment
- All UK Liberal, Labour, Conservative and Green MEPs voted for the amendment and UKIP MEPs abstained