It has been confirmed that all sheep farmers in the Republic of Ireland who are sending sheep to Kepak’s factory in Athleague, Co. Roscommon, will no longer have to read the individual ear tags of sheep being presented for slaughter.

As a result of the newly implemented Electronic Identification (EID) regulations, Kepak has moved to implement a system that will electronically read the tags of all sheep – provided they have been tagged with the necessary EID tag.

Speaking to AgriLand, Kepak Athleague’s procurement officer, David Mannion, explained: “Once you count them, load them up and bring the sheet with you; that’s all you need to do.”

Mannion noted that before the move, farmers were required to read all tags of the sheep they were sending and fill them out on the docket.

He noted that, now, “all that needs to be filled out on the docket is the number of lambs, and the farmer’s signature at the bottom”.

“We will be scanning all the tags in ourselves, and presenting that sheet to the vet in the lairage for sign off, and once that’s done we send the tag list back out to the farmer.”

Concluding, Mannion noted that the move will eliminate the risk of human error when reading tags and in doing so, further affirm traceability.