Electronic slaughter tags slow to catch on

Slow uptake of electronic slaughter tags by English sheep farmers is causing concern as farmers could be limiting the potential to sell stock.

Figures last month show 44% of all tags ordered were non-EID slaughter tags, which could restrict sheep farmers, said the Livestock Auctioneers Association’s Chris Dodds.

“When farmers don’t use electronic slaughter tags this year, it will restrict the number of people who are prepared to buy their sheep. We are advising producers all their sheep should be tagged with electronic slaughter tags.”

And while Mr Dodds appreciated tags cost about 50p more than a single manual one, the benefits far outweigh costs. “The benefits to the industry in enabling some 30% of the marketplace to remain in business massively outweigh this cost.”

Although auctioneers still sell sheep presented with manual ear tags during this transition period Mr Dodd pointed out it will restrict marketing opportunities. “We hope farmers thinking about ordering their 2010 tag stocks will talk to their local auctioneer first,” he added.

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