Farmers asked for views on cattle ID

The Scottish government has launched a consultation on plans to modernise how cattle are tagged, identified and traced.

cows with ear tags eating silage in a shed

Cattle farmers and businesses can now share their views on plans to fit all newborn cattle with electronic ear-tags.

This would update the current non-computerised system with EID, the use of an online register for cattle, and the removal of paper cattle passports for EID identified animals.

This would make it easier to collect and store cattle information, improving efficiency and safety, the government said.

Currently, all cattle born in the UK, EU and many other countries, are required to be uniquely identified with ear tags and their movements recorded.

This traceability helps to prevent disease spread and protects both animal and public health.

Reduced costs and improved efficiency

Agriculture minister Jim Fairlie visited a farm in Jedburgh, where he was shown a demonstration of the new technology in action.

He said: “Since 2017 we have worked closely with the cattle industry to identify new methods of cattle identification that will help reduce costs and improve efficiency for cattle farmers. […]

“I would encourage those involved in the cattle industry to make their views known on this important issue.”

Welcome news

NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy welcomed the consultation.

“Scottish farmers and crofters have been supportive of the introduction of electronic identification for decades, as noted in the recent report compiled by ScotEID.

“In the future, the industry will rely heavily on data to manage our herds’ efficiency and productivity, and to deliver against ambitious environmental goals making bovine EID crucial.”

He hopes the consultation will finally negate the need for paper passports, offering significant savings to the industry.

The consultation on cattle identification and traceability in Scotland closes on 27th June 2024.

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