Dept EID tag details outlined

Caitriona Murphy

The tender document issued by the Department of Agriculture outlines the main elements of the new electronic tagging regime:

  • Sheep intended for slaughter before 12 months of age will be tagged with a conventional tag applied to the left ear by nine months of age or when they leave the holding of origin, whichever comes first. This tag will be yellow in colour.
  • Breeding sheep must be tagged in the left ear with a conventional tag, and electronically identified either with an electronic ear-tag in the right ear or a ruminal bolus by nine months of age or whenever they leave the holding of birth, whichever comes first. The electronic tag will also be yellow.
  • All animals will be tagged with a new numbering code that will replace the existing 13-digit code. The first part of this new code will be Ireland's country code of IE, followed by a unique 12-digit individual sheep ID number -- the first seven digits of which will remain constant for each flock owner and the last five will individually identify an animal.
  • Where an individual animal sent to the mart intended for slaughter is subsequently kept for breeding, the animal would then be tagged at the second holding with an EID tag.
  • It is proposed that owners have the option to order EID tags in different colours as a way to distinguish two animals on a commonage bearing the same flock designator but owned by two different people.
  • If electronic ear tags or boluses are lost, farmers can order a replacement with an identical number to the remaining conventional tag and vice versa if the conventional tag is lost. These replacement tags will still be yellow or light blue in colour because they are retaining the original tag number and are not being re-tagged with a new number.
  • Farmers buying in animals for fattening will be able to order batches of red replacement tags, which will be numbered from their sequence of tag numbers, to re-tag animals that are intended for slaughter before 12 months of age and have lost their single conventional tag from their holding of origin.
  • Where a breeding animal loses both its conventional and EID tag, the animal will be re-tagged with a red replacement conventional tag and a matching red EID tag to signify that the original ID has been lost. Where both the conventional tag and a bolus have been lost, the replacement bolus tag should be pink. Because the animal's traceability to its birth holding has been lost, any animal identified like this (red tag and red EID), can only go for slaughter.
  • Where a replacement electronic tag is issued, the re-tagging counter will be set to the appropriate number. This information will also be drawn down from the AIM system.

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