The UK has withdrawn its application to the European Commission for an extension to the derogation from double tagging of sheep.

The derogation expired on Saturday, 30 June and the Commission had advised that an extension was extremely unlikely.

DEFRA is advising farmers that the current arrangements for tagging will continue to apply after 30 June until further notice, and that they should continue with current requirements as normal.

Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said: “It is now clear that the best way forward will be to withdraw our application and work with the industry to put in place a workable solution on sheep identification arrangements until legislation is introduced on electronic tagging.

“It is important that industry recognises the need to improve compliance with the identification and tagging system and we will work with them to achieve this.”

The double-tagging requirement was introduced by the Commission in July 2005, however the UK had obtained a derogation which enabled it to continue with previous tagging requirements.