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Sheep electronic ID guidance published

Guidance to help farmers comply with EU rules on sheep electronic identification (EID) has been issued today, Friday.

A letter and leaflets have been sent to all sheep farmers and should be received within the next few days.

The move follows successful negotiations with Brussels which resulted in the Scottish Government obtaining crucial flexibility at inspections, although farmers must still comply with the regulations.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I do appreciate that the system is still complicated and that’s why guidance has just been sent to every sheep producer in Scotland which will help to clarify the rules, particularly with regard to cross compliance.

“Crucially, it’s important to be clear that sheep identification is not the same as cattle identification and the rules surrounding it are different, taking account of the different way these animals are kept and bred. It’s simply not possible for a farmer, keeping hundreds of sheep on extensive hill ground, to be able to account for every animal, all of the time, and the system reflects that.”