Grace for ear tag numbers

3 December 1999

Grace for ear tag numbers

THE government has granted cattle producers a "grace period" to continue identifying animals with ear tags bearing the alpha numeric identification codes following the introduction of new numeric codes on Jan 17.

The grace period will officially end on June 30 2000 for all animals born on or before that date. Alpha numeric tags may also be used on animals imported from outside the EU during this period.

But it warns that any orders for new alpha numeric tags need to be fulfilled by Dec 17 as authorisation of alpha numeric tags will cease in the New Year although replacement tags will continue to be available in alpha numeric format.

To help with the changeover the new numeric tags may be ordered now using the existing herd marks.

The move follows a call from the NFU for a transitional period to prevent confusion and potential manufacturer backlogs. It was concerned that, because cattle producers would not receive notification of their new herd number until early January, there would not be enough time to change to all numeric tagging by Jan 17.

Enquiries can be made to the BCMS helpline, on 0845-050 1234.

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