The double tagging regulations which came into effect this month
following the withdrawal of the UK’s derogation from recent
EU sheep and goat identification legislation are less onerous than
originally feared, according to a detailed English Beef and Lamb
Executive (EBLEX) analysis of the newly-published Defra rules.
For instance, only sheep and goats which are not intended for
slaughter within the UK by 12 months of age need to be double tagged.
All other animals can still be single tagged. As can all animals
identified before 11 January 2008 with an official UK tag.
At the same time, the new regulations give a welcome reduction
in paperwork while scrapping the need for movement (S) tags and
the requirement to replace them if lost.
A single official UK batch tag applied within 6 months of birth
for intensively reared lambs and kids and within 9 months for those
reared extensively continues to be sufficient for all animals intended
for slaughter before 12 months of age.
If an animal originally intended for slaughter is retained for
breeding, however, it will need to be identified either with an
additional match-up tag or a new set of double tags – the
original being left in place and the new number cross-referenced
in the flock register.
Flock managers can continue to choose different styles or colours
(except red) for their tags and the secondary form of identification
(double tag) can be in the form of a tattoo in the same format
as an official tag, if preferred.
Management information can continue to be included on the tag too,
providing it comes after the official identification number and
is sufficiently separated from it to avoid confusion.
While movement details still have to be recorded in the flock register
within 36 hours of animals moving to or from the holding, the registration
process has been simplified to make record-keeping easier.
Individual animal or flock mark details no longer have to be recorded
in the register, except where animals are imported from countries
outside the EU or are being exported. At the same time, it is no
longer necessary to record the lot numbers of animals arriving
from a market.
For movements off the holding, managers now also have the option
of retaining copies of the movement document with the register
rather than having to record each movement separately in it. What
is more, the requirement to record movements between separate parcels
of land within a holding has been scrapped.
Detailed Defra guidance on the new identification rules has been
sent to all registered sheep and goat keepers.
Economise on Ewe Feeding with Care and Precision
Rare Breeds Watchlist Update 2008
Further Clarification of New Rules on Sheep Double-Tagging