25 September 1998

BCMS opens weekend helpline

CATTLE producers with queries about the BCMS database which launches on Monday, can call its helpline throughout the weekend, 7am to 7pm.

David Evans, BCMS chief executive, says producers who have read the BCMS booklets and are still in doubt, should call the help centre.

Currently producers must tag beef calves before they are 30-days-old and apply for a passport within 45 days of birth. Dairy calves must have one tag within 36 hours of birth, a second tag within 30 days, and passport applications submitted within 15 days of tagging being completed.

Check application forms for errors, particularly breed codes, some of which have changed. For example, GL previously stood for Galloway, but now stands for Gloucester; Galloway is now GA. Breed codes are in the rear of BCMS booklet number four.

Use a passport application that corresponds to eartag number, and not the application form at the top of the pile. Producers who have not received bar code labels and passport applications, and who wish to register a calf, should call the helpline. Where applications are correct, BCMS hopes to have a passport issued within a week.

Carol Lloyd, NFU tagging specialist, urges producers buying-in calves from dealers to check their own name is inserted in section three of the passport application to ensure it is sent to the right address.

"Sign and complete the first section of the movement record once the passport arrives," she adds.

&#8226 BCMS contact phone 0845 0501234 (England and Scotland) or 0845 050 3456 (Wales). &#42