01 July 1998
Farmers warned over cattle passports

By FWi staff

LACKADAISICAL farmers who consistently fail to apply for cattle passports could be banned from buying or selling cattle until their farm passes an inspection, the Government has warned.

Under European Union rules, just one calf without a passport could stop a farmer buying or selling cattle into or out of his entire herd.

At the moment, farmers who persistently apply late for passports have their applications refused. Under the proposed new approach, persistent offenders would be stopped from buying and selling cattle from their farms if cattle are found not to have passports as required by law. The restriction order would be lifted once the farm had passed an inspection.

Jeff Rooker, junior farm minister, said: “The vast majority of all farmers comply with the rules. But there are some who neglect to meet their legal obligations, or think the law does not apply to them.”

“Those who make late applications or own animals born since July 1996 without passports, rightly face penalties, and could be prosecuted.”

  • Currently, passport applications must be made within 58 days of the birth of a beef animal and 29.5 days after the birth of a dairy animal.
  • Under new EU rules, from 28 September 1998, this will reduce to a maximum of 15 days from when the animal is tagged.
  • From 1 January 2000, passport application deadlines will shorten again to a maximum of seven days from when the animal is tagged.