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Stackyard News May 07

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    Positive Step to Reduce Calf Tagging Injury Risk

Ongoing discussion between NFU Scotland and the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) has ensured that cattle ID requirements can be operated without producers being exposed to unnecessary risks when tagging newborn calves.


All newborn calves are required to be identity tagged within 20 days of birth. This rule remains in place. However, as many injuries and even some tragic deaths have shown, the process of tagging calves can be a dangerous one, particularly during the phase after calving when protective instincts are strong.

Clearly aggressive individual animals are an immediate problem. In dangerous situations producers may contact the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) and gain an extension to the 20 day tagging deadline designed to fit their particular circumstances.

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland Vice-President, said:

“This is hugely positive and the obvious answer to the current risk situations that many people face. Hopefully, the flexibility will ensure that there are no more deaths or injuries from the calf tagging process.

“It is very encouraging to see that following our discussions SEERAD recognises the risk involved in the tagging process and is helping to ensure the safety of farmers and crofters.

“Producers must however be aware that the 20 day rule still applies and flexibility will only be given for specific cases.

“NFU Scotland and SEERAD would urge those in high risk situations to contact BCMS. NFU Scotland members can seek advice by calling NFUS.”

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