Poll: Should there be more than one supplier of cattle tags to the state?

Are you happy with the quality of the current cattle tags provided by the Department? Do you think that there should be more than one supplier of cattle tags to the state?

The decision by the Department of Agriculture earlier this year to issue a tender for a single supplier of cattle tags to the state has been met with criticism from the ICSA and from farmers alike.

The multi-million euro contract is currently provided by Mullinahone Co-op in Tipperary with over 2m new cattle tag sets ordered by farmers every year.

According to ICSA President Patrick Kent, competition is the best way of ensuring value for money for farmers when it comes to ordering cattle tags.

“Price is an important factor but so too is durability as the cost of replacing tags has to be considered.”

We have seen the risk associated with losing tags, with farmers having to face heavy penalties.

“It is for these reasons that choice, durability and cost all need to be factored in. Competition is the best way of ensuring value for money for farmers.”

What do you think? Are you happy with the quality of the current cattle tags?

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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.

The previous Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, said that the Departments view is that a single supplier is the optimum mechanism for ensuring that ear tags are made available to Irish farmers at a competitive price while at the same time meeting the identification requirements of the bovine sector in Ireland for superior quality bovine tags.

“The Department places a strong reliance on tag suitability, security and tamper evidence to support a secure bovine identification and traceability system that plays a key role in underpinning beef and dairy exports in a competitive marketplace,” he said.