10 March 1998
Europe to test livestock electronic tags
AN £8 million three-year pilot scheme starts next year to electronically tag European cattle sheep and goats.
Nine regions in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal will test the European Commission scheme to log Europes livestock from birth to butcher.
The electronic identity cards will initially be implanted into a million animals. It is hoped eventually to use the scheme to monitor each of Europes 300 million livestock.
The plan would enable the breeding, movements and fate of any animal to be instantly traced. Officials said it would also cut fraud in the Common Agricultural Programme.
A European Union spokesman said it was a crucial step on the road to “the smart farm”.
- The Guardian 10/03/98 page 7