Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 19 February 2017

New numbering format on cattle tags comes into force next week

Published 25/10/2016 | 09:00

A new numbering format is required for cattle tags to ensure that the numbering system in place in Ireland is compatible with a new EU wide electronic identification (EID) format.
A new numbering format is required for cattle tags to ensure that the numbering system in place in Ireland is compatible with a new EU wide electronic identification (EID) format.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will be introducing a new numbering format for cattle tags from November 2016.

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A new numbering format is required for cattle tags to ensure that the numbering system in place in Ireland is compatible with a new EU-wide electronic identification (EID) format.

This requirement arises from EU regulations, which provides for herd keepers to have access to voluntary electronic identification (EID) and therefore requires Member States to have procedures in place to cater for voluntary electronic identification (EID) by July 2019.

The Department of Agriculture says that, while there is no intention currently to introduce compulsory EID, there is a need to change the numbering format for cattle tags to ensure that the Irish numbering system is compatible with the EID numbering format. 

It says this change is necessary, in particular, to ensure that the Irish tag-numbering format poses no hindrance to live cattle exports.

Key changes

Herd Number

There will be no change to herd numbers under the new arrangements – each keeper will retain the existing herd number.

Changes to Numbering Format

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New Country Identifier: The IE displayed on current tags will be replaced by the 3-digit numeric code 372 which is the country code allocated to Ireland under international technical standards (ISO).

New Herd Designator: The current 7-digit herd designator begins with county identifiers ranging from 11 to 39. The EID tag numbers cannot begin with anything greater than 27. The ranges 21, 22 and 23 are reserved for bovines.

All keepers are now being issued with a new 7-digit herd designator beginning with a number from the bovine range. This will not affect the existing herd number for your holding.

Bovine Number: The 5-digit number comprises a check digit followed by the four digit animal number.

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The Department says the new numbering format will be printed on all new tags ordered from November 2016

It says the animal number in the new numbering format will start from the next number issued in the current numbering format. For example, if 0312 was the last animal number issued in the current numbering format, 0313 will be the first animal number issued under the new numbering format.

The Department has also highlighted that stocks of tags displaying the current numbering format must be used before starting to use any new tags.

It says all tags in the current numbering format must be used up by December 31 2017. As from January 1 2018 keepers will only be permitted to tag and register new born calves with the new numbering format.

Animal Events Sheet

The Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) will issue new books of Animal Event Sheets to accommodate the new numbering format.

The Department says farmers should pay particular attention when entering the herd designator as each incorrect entry will result in the issue of an error letter. 

It says farmers should not register calves with the current numbering format (IE tags) and the new numbering format (372 tags) on the same animal events sheet. 

It recommends that, where possible, all calf births should be registered online (www.agfood.ie) as this will eliminate errors arising from incorrect entry of herd designators.

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