§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on sheep identification.
§ Mr. David Hunt
A directive on the identification and registration of animals—92/102—was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 27 November 1992. It lays down minimum Community requirements for the identification and registration of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The objective is to set up a harmonised system which will enable animals to be traced back to their farm of origin, both for disease control purposes and for controlling payments made under the common agricultural policy. The national systems for sheep and goats do not have to be in place until January 1995. Agriculture Departments are discussing with industry organisations how these new requirements will be implemented so as to minimise the burden on the industry as a whole.