19 January 1996

MAFFsets out sheep ID plans

NEW identification and movement arrangements for sheep and goats have been announced by MAFF.

The NFU has welcomed the legislation, which comes into force on Feb 1, 1996. It dismissed the original proposals, released for consultation last autumn, as totally unworkable. But an NFU official said it had secured a number of important amendments that now meant the rules were practical.

The rules are designed to help trace sheep or goats in the event of a disease outbreak and all sheep and goat owners must register with their local animal health office. Anyone already registered with the British Wool Marketing will have their details sent directly to the AHO. Other requirements include:

lProducers to mark animals if they leave the holding, and complete a movement document to accompany stock. Movement documents must be kept for three years.

lAnimals for export must be tattooed or tagged with the holding number, country code and the animals individual number.

lStock moved within Britain can either be marked, as for export, or simply have a mark sufficient to identify them during the journey like a paint mark or horn brand.

lProducers claiming sheep annual premium must maintain an up-to-date record of female sheep on the holding over 12 months old or which have given birth. Total number of sheep on the holding at Feb 1, 1996 must be recorded by Feb 14.

Any subsequent changes in numbers must be recorded within 14 days of animals being moved on or off the holding or realising animals have been lost. The records must be kept for four years.

The NFU persuaded MAFF to change a requirement for everyone to complete SAP forms. &#42