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The Issues

  Why EID?
  Technical aspects
  Costs and Benefits
  What it means for you...
   Slaughter Derogation/Third      Party Recording


The compulsory electronic identification of sheep (EID) is to be introduced from 1st January 2010.

Sheep EID is one of the most contentious issues facing the sheep industry. Most of what has been written and said about the subject has been negative. In the extreme, it has been suggested that EID will inevitably lead to the end of the sheep industry. An NFU survey suggested that 45% farmers would give up sheep rather than use EID, yet only 1000 producers had responded.

Such a scenario would be ironic, given that the reason for compulsory EID is to facilitate individual sheep traceability. This traceability, it is argued, is required to save the industry in the potential case of a major disease outbreak.

The double tagging of sheep has hardly "crippled the sheep sector" as predicted by an NSA spokesperson in 2004. Hopefully, EID won't either.

There is a huge cost involved in introducing individual recording and EID. Most of the cost will fall on farmers, but will vary significantly between them. For many the cost may be insignificant. Despite the imminent date of EID introduction, a number of issues have yet to be decided.The most crucial for farmers being third party recording and the slaughter derogation.

At present, DEFRA has no stated intention of having a central database. It is difficult to understand how, without a central database, full individual recording on farm, at markets, and in abattoirs will be of any more benefit in the face of disease outbreak than the current system of batch recording.

While a database of all sheep may not be required, a database of movements must be a necessity.

The Solutions

Electronic Tags
EID Readers

  Further Information:         
     Symtag - suppliers of all types of sheep,cattle, and pig identification tags        Gallagher Animal Management Systems         Good Health Plans - farm animal management software        Cromasa - Animal Identification      Defra - for all the latest on the new regulations...  Beljaars - Sheep Production and Advice

Good Health Plans 2009