There are many questions surrounding the new electronic tagging rules, which came into effect on June 1. Ciaran Moran answers them
Currently, all sheep are required to be identified electronically with a full EID tag/bolus set.
However, an exception is made for lambs slaughtered in Ireland before reaching the age of 12 months. These lambs can be identified with a single conventional tag.
All sheep destined for export, regardless of their age, must currently be identified with a full EID tag set/electronic bolus set. This position will not change under the new rules.
Under the new rules, from June 1 2019, all sheep must be identified electronically.
From June 1 2019, lambs aged under 12 months, moving directly to slaughter from the holding of their birth must, at a minimum, be identified with a single yellow electronic tag in the lamb's right ear.
The new sheep identification rules will be introduced in two stages:
(i) With effect from October 1 2018, all National Sheep Identification System (NSIS) approved tag suppliers will generally only sell two tag types:
a. single electronic slaughter tags; and
b. electronic tag sets or electronic bolus sets.
(ii) With effect from June 1 2019 all sheep moving off any holding must be identified electronically. Depending on the circumstances of their movement, they will require either:
a. a single yellow electronic slaughter tag, or
b. a yellow electronic tag set or an electronic bolus set.
A full EID tag set comprises one yellow electronic tag inserted in the sheep's right ear and a corresponding yellow conventional tag, with the same unique ID number, in the animal's left ear.
You can order a replacement conventional tag matching the number of the EID tag in the sheep's right ear; or remove the remaining EID tag and insert a new full EID set in the sheep's ears.
What tags do I use on lambs born prior to June 1 2019?
These lambs must be identified with a full electronic tag set or bolus set prior to onward movement or before reaching 12 months of age, whichever is the earlier date.
Lambs born on your holding in 2018 or 2019 that are not intended to be moved from there before June 1 2019 should be identified electronically (with a single electronic tag in the right ear if it is intended to move the lambs directly to slaughter before reaching 12 months of age, or alternatively, with a full EID tag/bolus set).
Now, all sheep moving other than directly to slaughter from the holding of the animal's birth must be identified with a full EID tag set or a full electronic bolus set.
Central Points of Recording (CPRs) are typically marts and slaughter plants approved by the Department of Agriculture.
The CPR will subsequently provide the farmer with a printed list of the tag numbers of all sheep presented in a specific batch, for their records.
As well as the sheep dispatch document, you simply need to record the total number of sheep in the batch, in the relevant box. All other parts of the dispatch document must be completed as normal.
All sheep presented at a CPR will be scanned there and the CPR will subsequently provide the presenting keeper with a list of presented tag numbers (LPT) in respect of each batch.
The Department will issue each registered sheep flock keeper with a new book of dispatch documents prior to June 1 2019. Each of the new dispatch documents will be allocated an individual barcoded serial number linked to a specific herd number. The list provided by the CPR will record the serial number of the dispatch document associated with it.
CPRs will be required to make provision for these manually.
The once-off electronic (EID) tag subsidy will apply to the first eligible order for electronic sheep tags placed by a keeper between October 1 2018 and September 30 2019. A subsidy of €1 will be applied to each electronic tag purchased, with a maximum of €100 payable per farmer.
For example, a farmer purchasing 100 electronic tags of any type in his/her first eligible order will receive a €100 subsidy payment and a farmer purchasing 55 tags will be paid €55. Farmers purchasing in excess of 100 tags will be limited to a total subsidy of €100.
For administration purposes, the minimum subsidy payable will be €10 (based on the purchase of a minimum of 10 electronic tags).
All active sheep flock keepers registered with the Department are eligible.
However where keepers have already exceeded the maximum payment threshold under that scheme, they will not be eligible for additional payment under the EID tag scheme.
No - from June 1 2019, only EID tags may be used to identify sheep on movement, regardless of where they are moving to.
Lambs under 12 months of age moving directly to slaughter must be identified with a single yellow electronic tag and all other sheep must be identified with a full yellow EID tag set or a bolus set.
There are no circumstances under which sheep can move with a single conventional tag, with effect from June 1 2019.