From this year, English sheep producers that do not conform
to the new EU rules for animal identification and movement recording
that came into force last July risk the penalty of having improperly
or un-identified stock excluded from the food chain as well as
losing subsidy payments, reminds the English Beef and Lamb Executive
What is more, they could jeopardise the continuation of the UK’s
hard-won temporary permission not to follow EU double-tagging requirements
until 2008 beyond its current expiry date at the end of the coming
Under these circumstances, it is vital all flocks adhere to the
detail of the new national rules for sheep and goat identification
set out in Defra Guidance published last November.
For identification and movement purposes, the rules now define
a holding as the main site and any land within 5 miles of its boundary.
This distance is measured ‘as the crow flies’ from
the nearest edge of the main site. Any land partially within the
5 mile limit or that touches land partially within the 5 mile limit
is considered to be within the main holding.
All holdings entirely outside the 5 mile limit now require a separate
official CPH number from the Rural Payments Agency (tel: 0845 603
7777) even if they are solely managed and controlled by the same
Any stock moved to these outside holdings - as well as to
another keeper’s holding regardless of distance - has
to be identified with an uniquely numbered ear tag of the appropriate
type (most usually a ‘UK’ holding of birth or ‘S’ non-holding
of birth tag). Temporary (paint) marks are no longer acceptable.
As well as correct tagging, all such external movements - including
those to land solely managed and controlled by the same keeper - need
to be accompanied by an official movement document (form AML1)
which must be copied to the local authority by the keeper receiving
Although an official movement document and report to the local
authority is not required for any movements to outlying fields
within the main holding but separate from the main site, the rules
stipulate they should be recorded in the flock register so the
whereabouts of all animals can be established at any time.
As well as urging producers to adhere to the identification and
movement recording rules for their own and the industry’s
good, EBLEX points out that separate flock registers are now required
for each calendar year.
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