OFFICIALS from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) are to meet key industry representatives to discuss the implementation of Sheep EID.
The meeting will focus on the European Commission’s recent comments on DARD’s proposal to allow some tolerance within Cross-Compliance inspections.
A DARD spokesperson said, “The Department has been aware for some time of concerns among keepers that they might be penalised under Cross-Compliance if a document they are given by a CPR (Central Point of Recording) is inaccurate. This could arise, for example, if a CPR (such as a market, meat plant or Export Assembly Centre) makes an error when entering a tag number manually.
“The Department has therefore proposed to the Commission that where a keeper’s records are inaccurate as a result of an error in a CPR we would not penalise the keeper under Cross-Compliance rules. The Commission has now responded with positive comments about the proposal, identifying some areas for improvement, but emphasising that it is for each Member State’s competent authority to develop their own system for Cross-Compliance sanctions.
“We are in a good position as we have a fully operational APHIS database and with industry support we have implemented a sheep traceability system that is operating to a high standard, and supporting our valuable export trade. CPR’s here are performing effectively and work is on-going to ensure that they meet the necessary traceability standards.
“It is very important that keepers maintain accurate records if they are to avoid Cross-Compliance penalties and breaches of the Sheep legislation. It is essential that keepers always receive a full list of tag numbers for all their sheep moving through CPR’s. If they do not keep this list with the corresponding movement document, and cross-reference this in their Flock Register, they may receive a Cross-Compliance penalty.”