AWARENESS NEEDS to be raised of electronic identification (EID) systems for sheep so farmers become more engaged with the topic, according to DEFRA.

The point is made in an interim progress report on the government‘s EID pilot published by the government on Fri (Nov 5).

The trial forms part of DEFRA‘s preparation for EU legislation requiring the mandatory electronic identification of sheep and goats for some animals born on or after Jan 1 2008.

But this is dependant on an EU report on electronic tagging implementation which is due by June 30, 2006 which will also have to be agreed by Council ministers.

As part of the trial, more than 80,000 sheep have so far been electronically identified using a range of ear tags and boluses. 

“I am pleased with the progress made by this study and related work being done in other parts of the UK,” said Ben Bradshaw, junior DEFRA minister.

“I am confident that by working with the sheep and EID industries, we can influence the EU Commission in relation to the practicalities of EID implementation for sheep.”