Compulsory ear tags in Ireland from Jan `98
By Shelley Wright
COMPULSORY ear-tagging for sheep – which is already in operation throughout Northern Ireland – is expected to be introduced to the Irish Republic by January next year.
In the Republic, all sheep moving off-farm will have to have an ear-tag with the holding number of their farm and birth printed on it.
An official from Irelands department of agriculture said tagging was being introduced to meet the terms of the EU directive on stock traceability.
The tagging or tattooing of all sheep moving off-farm was supposed to become compulsory in Northern Ireland on August 1. But authorities have not been enforcing the measure because their has been a series of start-up problems.
Ulster Farmers Union delegate Wesley Aston said he believed their were two reasons why Northern Ireland had introduced tagging. First was the increased demand from consumers for traceability, and second was the desire to meet French tagging standards and keep the export trade open.