Department publishes tender for cattle tag supplier

The Department of Agriculture last week published a the multi-million euro tender for an official supplier of cattle tags in the state.

It comes following some criticism of the Department’s decision to only allow one supplier of bovine cattle tags in Ireland.

However, the Department has said that the policy of seeking a single supplier has been endorsed by the main farming organisations (IFA and ICMSA) on the basis that a single supplier, selected on the basis of a competitive tender and benefitting from economies of scale, is likely to make bovine tags available to herd keepers at a competitive price.

The multi-million euro contract is currently provided by Mullinahone Co-op in Tipperary with over two million new cattle tag sets ordered by farmers every year.

The Contracting Authority is seeking to select one single supplier for the supply and distribution of all the following:

  • Conventional Tags (and applicators)
  • Tissue Tags (and applicators) which provide for tissue sampling for detection of BVD and DNA analysis subsequent to the BVD test ;
  • Electronic Tags (and applicators) that combine all the features of Conventional Tags
  • Electronic Bolus [and applicator]
  • Replacement Tags
  • Birth Registration Documents.

According to the official notice, tenderers must tender for all of the items listed above. Tenderers that fail to tender for the items as indicated will be rejected as noncompliant.

It says payment for services will be made directly by keepers to the successful tenderer.

Fianna Fail’s Eamon O Cuiv has one been one of the key opponents of the one supplier policy and questioned the Minister on the Department’s decision when multiple suppliers are used in other EU Member States.