Alyn Smith MEP, Scottish full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, has hailed the Committee for backing his amendment allowing for derogations to the sheep EID laws.
The amendment passed through the committee stage of the Animal Health Law by 28 votes to 12 and allows sheep farmers the option of only tagging their sheep once with a manual tag, and with a holding number instead of an individual identification number, until the sheep leaves the holding of birth, at which point the normal rules (double tagging with an electronic tag and an individual ID number) will apply. It is essentially the same derogation as the one currently existing for lambs going straight to slaughter within 12 months.
Alyn also successfully passed amendments which would ensure that new proposals on animal identification, such as any future decision to make cattle EID mandatory, will have to be made through full legislation, with full participation of the European Parliament, rather than through the murky and unaccountable procedure of delegated acts. The animal health law will now be voted on by the full session of the Parliament next month, followed by negotiations with Council and Commission.