Any EU electronic identification for sheep should be deferred until 2012 at the earliest because of the current difficulties in the sector, according to Marian Harkin MEP. She was speaking in favour of an amendment to a report on the sheep industry in the European Parliament on June 19th, which called for support for the sheep sector. Marian Harkin said: ‘I support this measure which asks the Commission and the Council of Agriculture Ministers to introduce Community financing for the system of electronic tagging. Sheep farmers who are already in crisis cannot afford to have further expense and cost foisted upon them. Indeed, I would have preferred to see the electronic identification system deferred until 2012 at earliest but if it is to be introduced before that compulsory tagging of sheep should be funded by the EU as producers should not be asked to have further expense imposed on a sector already in crisis,’ Marian Harkin concluded.