Adjournment Debate. - Sheep Identification System.

Tuesday, 15 October 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 2

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  174.  Mr. O'Shea  Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh   the proposals he has to change sheep tags from individual to flock numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18285/02]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  I remain fully committed to the principles of the national sheep identification system, NSIS, which provides the means by which each individual animal in the national flock can be identified and traced from birth to carcass, with ensuing benefits in areas such as disease monitoring and control, consumer assurance, flock management, etc. Based on its own monitoring, my Department believes that all aspects of NSIS are generally working well.

I have, however, always made it clear that specific difficulties which flock owners may encounter will be examined with a view to resolving such difficulties within the key parameters of the system. In this context my Department is examining concerns expressed by flock owners relating to particular aspects of NSIS, as well as a submission received in recent days from the Irish Farmers' Association.

Adjustments can be considered which will address the identified concerns in a manner which maintains the integrity of both the identification and traceability dimensions of NSIS and which also take account of the forthcoming proposals of the EU Commission.

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