Farmers urged to up their game to avoid double tagging of sheep

Sheep farmers, auctioneers and hauliers need to be more thorough with paperwork to improve the overly-complicated tagging system, according to industry leaders and the government.
Representatives from the Livestock Auctioneers Association, National Sheep Association and NFU met with DEFRA’s chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds and her colleagues at a meeting on Tuesday (20 March).
They discussed the Food and Veterinary Office’s recent findings on the UK derogation from the requirement to double tag sheep. Inspectors identified a number of failings in the current system which puts the current derogation under threat. 

Representatives at the meeting concluded that on farm records and movement documents are two areas for improvement.
In a joint statement from the LAA, NSA and NFU, they said: “We had a very useful meeting with the CVO and her colleagues that were involved in the FVO visit.
“Those present agreed that the existing rules were too complicated and must be simplified. Industry accepted that if we wanted to see improvement and simplification of the current system, then all farmers will need to demonstrate better compliance.
“The industry offered to take the initiative and work with government to communicate the main areas where compliance had to improve. DEFRA also recognised the importance of raising awareness with enforcement bodies, as well as all farmers.”
A follow-up meeting will take place in April to monitor progress.

For more advice see the Livestock section of Friday’s Farmers Weekly magazine (23 March).