About a week ago, we wrote about a debate which occurred in June in the House of Lords over EU plans to tag sheep with electric implants.
This intrusive and expensive measure has been accepted largely without argument by the government, despite Britain having the largest sheep flock in Europe and our sheep farmers being on their knees financially.
Perhaps most galling of all, when questioned about the possibility of an entirely reasonable opt out of the scheme, the government representative in the Lords, Lord Tunnifcliffe, replied by saying:
"I accept that this regulation is probably, on balance, not a good idea. It will create more costs than benefits in most of the industry. Nevertheless...this is part of being in the club called the European Union...My Lords, it is absolutely clear, I am afraid, that the industry and the individuals in the industry will pay."
The argument resumed recently, with Lord Vinson once gain imploring the government to find some way out of 'this unnecessary, expensive and crazy EU regulation'. But yet again the voices of reason were met with a stony refusal to act in the interests of their own constituents.
It seems that EU surveillance is here to stay; sadly for both our farm animals and ourselves.
- - UPDATE - -
If you want to know more about the expense and difficulties in sheep tagging, click through to around 37.00 on this latest episode of Countyfile.