The NFU has welcomed the introduction of changes in the cattle ID regulations which came into force on 6 April, but is warning farmers not to ignore the 27-day rule for birth registrations.
The union is stressing that additional functionality of DNA testing as a form of appeal should not be used as an excuse for keepers not to register cattle and to apply at a later date. It is still a legal requirement to register cattle births within 27 days.

The removal of the temporary calf passport also means cattle keepers will now have to apply for full passports before calves can leave the holding of birth.

Many of the cattle currently under Notice of Registration in the national herd are due to animals being moved on temporary passports very close to the 27-day limit, which has prevented the purchaser getting an application for a passport to the British Cattle Movement Service within the time limit required by European law.
Keepers can apply for passports using four different methods:

•        Cattle Tracing System – online: An internet-based system which is ideal for producers who have computer access and can be done from day one to 27. Keepers should call BCMS on 0845 050 1234 for a login name and password.

•        Email via Standard Interface Specification: This is done through breed societies and agent access from day one to 27. Computer-based systems are more effective and efficient.

•        Post: This tends to be the least reliable system due to delivery delays and errors in paperwork. Keepers are recommended to use registered or recorded delivery as proof of postage

•        Telephone: In an emergency, a telephone application can be made. This method is best used for calves which need to be moved under licence on welfare grounds.

Alastair Johnston, NFU livestock adviser, said: “The NFU is urging BCMS to consider sympathetically any problems faced by cattle keepers through the introduction of the new system.”