Department receives 3 applications to supply cattle tags

Three applications for approval to supply cattle tags to Irish farmers have been received by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

A spokesperson for the Department said that these three applications are currently being processed.

Once approval is granted to a supplier, the name and contact details of each approved tag supplier will be advertised in the farming press and posted on the Department’s website.

The Department said earlier this year that it will provide a written decision, including the reasons for the decision taken, to an applicant as soon as possible.

In the case of a refusal, the Department will provide a written decision to an applicant that clearly sets out the reasons for a refusal and an applicant may request a review of a decision to refuse approval.

Farmers can buy cattle tags from numerous suppliers from November 1 and the new tags must meet the requirements for bovine identification set down by the Department.

Earlier this year, the Department finalised the official standards for its new cattle tag supplier approval system.

For a conventional tag to be approved, the annual loss rate must not exceed 7%, official standards state.

The Department has said that losses must not exceed this limit in the equivalent of the Irish bovine system and production conditions i.e. having regard to the system of rearing, grazing, housing, fencing, restraining, transport, hedgerows and feeding systems and conditions that are routinely encountered in Ireland.

Meanwhile, it is understood that strict conditions have been set out in relation to the continuation of the collection and payment of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) levy that is on tags for the new cattle tag approval system.

Currently farmers pay a flat rate voluntary contribution of 38c per set of tags to the operating costs of the ICBF.

It is also understood that any approved supplier will be required to ensure the voluntary ICBF contributions are collected and to ensure the contributions are transferred monthly to ICBF.

Any approved supplier is also not permitted to set a minimum order for supply of new tag sets or replacement tags. All new and replacement tags must be the same price irrespective of order size also.