Minister considering the 'possibility' of introducing mandatory electronic tagging of cattle

Roscommon Mart - celebrating 58 years in business. Putting on the lot numbers. Photo Brian Farrell
Roscommon Mart - celebrating 58 years in business. Putting on the lot numbers. Photo Brian Farrell
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said he is considering the possibility of introducing the mandatory use of electronic tags in cattle.

The Department of Agriculture currently provides for the use of EID (electronic tags) in the supply of official bovine identification tags to herd keepers by approved tag vendors. 

However, herd keepers can on a voluntary basis choose to identify bovine animals using a conventional and electronic tag.

New EU regulations provides for the introduction of electronic identification of bovines on a voluntary basis or mandatory basis from July 18, 2019 whereby each Member State shall ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place for the electronic identification of animals. 

Responding to questioning in the Dail this week by Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill, Minister Creed said the European Commission plans to introduce the required Implementing and Delegated Acts prior to July 2019 and in this regard my Department will keep the position under review at EU level.

"I am considering the scope for the possibility of introducing mandatory electronic identification of bovines in the context of the benefits that EID will provide to all interested stakeholders.

"The development of a plan to implement EID will require consultation with all stakeholders, including farm organisations, Associated Livestock Marts (ALM), ICOS, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and approved tag suppliers.

"The schedule for any implementation of mandatory EID would obviously be influenced by this consultation process and would need to take into consideration a number of challenging practical logistical issues, such as tag supply capacity, the integration of a new EID system with the conventional tagging system which currently exists in the national herd, etc.

"My officials have had some preliminary discussions with the farm organisation on the introduction of mandatory EID recently," he said.

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