1 December 1995

Adopt electronic ID to survive – NCBA

IF livestock markets want to survive they must adopt electronic identification technology over the next few years.

So said Rowland Kershaw-Dalby, secretary of the National Cattle Breeders Association, at one of this weeks Farmer Forums.

"A representative from Tesco has already said livestock auctions are a thing of the past. They must introduce electronic identification, which provides the traceability supermarkets now require, if they are to survive," he said.

The technology is available. So it is down to the industry to adapt and adopt it, he said. "A new international standard has been introduced and a number of makers will be looking to introduce tags."

Competition had reduced prices from £7 each to about £3, he said. Producers can pay £5 a head to log on to a total database system which carries details such as parentage, BSE status and suckler cow and beef special premium records.

"There are a number of auction companies looking to introduce electronic tagging and data systems and we already have the ongoing trial at Guildford market in Surrey," he said. "But we need to ensure calves are electronically tagged on dairy farms so stock can be identified all the way along the production system." &#42

Livestock markets must adopt ID technology if they are to survive, says Rowland Kershaw-Dalby.