New cattle tag supply arrangement to come into effect on November 1

Farmers can buy cattle tags from numerous suppliers from November 1, the Department of Agriculture has announced.

However, the ear tags must meet the requirements for bovine identification set down under European Union legislation and the Department’s specification.

The European Commission has decided that it will take a number of months to consider and application by Ireland for new proposed standards relating to tag approval.

In view of this decision by the Commission and in order to avoid any disruption in the supply of ear tags, the Department has decided to proceed to approve tag suppliers whose ear-tags meet the requirements for bovine identification set down in European legislation.

These requirements include that the tags are tamper-proof and are not re-usable, as objectively assessed by independent experts.

This process will enable the supply of approved tags from November 1 and the new arrangements will remain in place until December 31, 2017.

The Department has said that it has met with potential tag suppliers and has invited them to submit applications for approval to supply cattle tags in Ireland.

The Department has advised tag suppliers on issues relating to the suitability of tissue tags for BVD testing purposes and has offered to provide further guidance and assistance as necessary.

‘Tissue tags’ that are used for BVD testing purposes can be approved as the second official ear-tag if they meet the requirements of an identification tag.

Applications from tag suppliers for approval to supply ear tags will be assessed against the requirements of EU regulations relating to cattle identification.

The tags must also meet the ancillary requirements which have been in place for many years and which are designed to ensure that the supply of tags comply with all requirements of these regulations.

The Department will also meet with stakeholders including farm organisations and the BVD Implementation Group to update them on these arrangements.