Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:53 UK

Farmers warn against sheep tags

Farmer Robert MacDonald said the sheep industry was in decline

A delegation of Scottish farmers are to call for concessions on plans by the European Union to impose the fitting of electronic tags to all sheep.

Speyside farmer Robert MacDonald said it would lead to an accelerated decline in the industry.

With each tag costing up to 1.50, the aim of the scheme is to improve the tracking of animals from farms to where they end up in food production.

The delegation is preparing to make its case in Brussels.

'No advantage'

Mr MacDonald said he had spoken to a number of people who would get rid of their sheep if tagging was brought in.

He said: "It is happening already and it would just accelerate the drift away from sheep because of the time and the money involved."

He added: "You would see huge tracts of our hills returned to scrub which is to no advantage to anybody, or the farming industry."

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