Sheep EID was top of the agenda when the NFU met farming minister George Eustice.
NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe and chief livestock adviser Peter Garbutt expressed members’ concerns over plans to remove all access to the non-electronic batch tag for lambs.
The NFU believes the move will result in an increased tag cost for the vast majority of livestock producers and reduce their flexibility to choose the most appropriate tag for their market.
Mr Sercombe said: “It was positive that the minister understood our concerns over the increased tagging costs and was keen to work with us to help farmers deal with failures in the system.
“We also urged him to implement a level of tolerance under cross compliance.”
Other issues being discussed at yesterday’s meeting included the six-day standstill rule, spinal cord removal in lambs, and market transparency. Mr Sercombe added: “We are calling for more clarity on the way carcasses are dressed and weighed which would enable more accurate price reporting.”
increasing demand shows in wool sales
Strong clearances at British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) auctions are continuing and the hope is this increased demand can be maintained through the remainder of the 2013/2014 selling season, BWMB Chairman Malcolm Corbett will tell farmers attending this year’s NSA Winter Fair at Melton Mowbray Livestock Market on Friday 31 January.
An increasing level of confidence in the economic outlook across both Europe and the rest of the world is having a positive impact on wool prices with the opening sales of the current selling season showing the improvement in prices was being sustained.
Mr Corbett said, “Demand was so strong in the closing half of 2012/2013 season that we sold virtually every kilo of wool which was hugely important as we headed into the new 2013/2014 selling season.
With high clearance rates and prices up on the same time last year it’s also encouraging to see the volume of wool sold to date is significantly higher than at the same time last year.”
“Demand for British wool has traditionally been largely driven by the carpet market and an upturn in the housing market is helping increase demand, but the strong demand from the market in China is also having an impact on the interest and the demand shown in our product,” he added.
‘’Thanks to BWMB’s competitive auction system all producers marketing their wool through BWMB would benefit from these price increases,’’ Mr Corbett said and encouraged visitors to the Winter Fair to visit the BWMB stand to find out more about the Board’s activities and enjoy some light refreshments.