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Written Statement - Sheep Electronic Identification (EID): Development of an electronic movement reporting system for sheep

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Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes

I recently announced my intention to establish an electronic reporting system for sheep movements to considerably strengthen our management of this important issue. I have today decided that, on behalf of the farming industry in Wales, the Welsh Government will invest in a Welsh electronic reporting system incorporating an individual database.

I have decided that Welsh interests will be best served by investing in our own database which, through Government working in true partnership with the industry, will deliver an efficient system of tracing sheep and provide opportunities to improve profitability. 

Having taken this strategic decision, work will now begin to gather and finalise the specific requirements of the new system. The partnership approach which I consider so important and which I outlined in my response to Gareth Williams’ Working Smarter report, will be critical and I urge the industry to engage and make demands of the new system to ensure that it delivers for the industry and for Wales.

I have asked my officials to look carefully at all the benefits that a Welsh system can provide to include reassessing whether the current EID slaughter derogation remains appropriate alongside a central sheep database. I look forward to making further detailed announcements later in 2012.