Electronic ID of sheep and goats

These information sheets are provided for your interest. They should not replace veterinary advice from your veterinary surgeon.

Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, your specific circumstances must be discussed before advice can be given.

Sheep

Since 1st January 2010, there has been a requirement for sheep born, or tagged for the first time, to be tagged with an individual electronic identity tag. Animals which are intended to be moved for slaughter (directly from the holding of birth, or via market), within 12 months of birth, are exempt and may be tagged with a single batch slaughter tag. Some abattoir operators may require that this slaughter tag is electronically readable. The intention behind this move is to allow for individual movement records to be maintained. It is up to individual farmers if they wish to make use of the electronic ID portion of the tag, however, it is not optional to record individual animal movements, except if that movement is to slaughter, in which case a batch movement can be recorded. If you do not have a reader yourself, then records must be maintained using the individual numbers written on the tags. Markets and abattoirs offer a record and reporting system known as Central Point Recording (CPR), which will provide a list of animals moved on or off your holding. The tags have a number written on them, which matches the number stored in the chip with one small difference. The number is formulated as follows:

  1. Country of origin - eg. UK - this is where the chip number is slightly different as it is recorded as 826, which is the standardised country code for UK.
  2. a zero
  3. the 6 digit herd number
  4. the 5 digit animal number

So a tag number might be: UK 0 112211 12121 And the chip number would be: 826 0 112211 12121. There is NO requirement to have your own chip reading equipment, although of course you may choose to make use of the electronic reading capacity in your own system. Tags must be applied within 9 months of birth (6 months if animals are housed overnight) so there is no need to decide until tagging which animals will be kept beyond the 12 month cut-off for EID requirement. From 1st January 2011 it has been necessary to record individual tag numbers in the AML1 document for animals which were born since 1st January 2011, subject to the exceptions of movement to slaughter or a place of CPR as described above. From 1st December 2011 it will be required to record individual tag numbers in the AML1 document for animals which were born BEFORE 1st January 2011 - ie. ALL SHEEP MOVEMENTS (again with the movement to slaughter exception). There is no requirement for electronic tagging of these animals, but they must be individually identifiable.

Goats

Since 1st January 2010, there has been a requirement for all goats born, or tagged for the first time, to be tagged with an individual identity tag. This identification can be using conventional double tagging or voluntarily using electronic identification. The individual animal numbers are required to be entered in the herd book, and recorded on the Movement Document (AML1).

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