Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (88)

Willie Penrose

Question:

88. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ensure marts and factories will be required to install EID electronic tag readers for sheep in order to eliminate unnecessary paperwork for farmers and assist them with keeping accurate records; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13962/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My officials and I have met with mart and factory representative organisations on a number of occasions in the last year to discuss the extension of EID to all sheep and its wider implications and opportunities for these businesses.

DAFM wrote to all relevant marts and factories on 31st January 2019 informing them of the upcoming changes and advising them of the opportunity that the extension of EID to all sheep provides for them in operating as approved Central Points of Recording (or CPRs) from 1st June 2019. The letter indicated also that applications for CPR approval were now being accepted by DAFM. Since then, CPR applications have been submitted by 5 marts and written expressions of interest received from 6 marts and 4 factories.

Officials are engaging with these respondents to ensure their readiness to operate effectively as CPRs by 1st June 2019. Furthermore officials are making further contact with potential applicants to encourage additional uptake.

In recognition of the costs associated with the upgrading of mart facilities to the standards required for Central Points of Recording (CPRs), I introduced a grant aid scheme to part-fund eligible expenditure in this regard. Eligible marts will receive financial aid in respect of 40% of the eligible investments made (up to a maximum of €10,000 per mart) in upgrading their facilities to CPR requirements. Marts have been informed of this Scheme and have been notified that applications are now being accepted by my Department.