Learn lessons from sheep on EID, cattle farmers warn

Farming leaders are calling on the EU to learn lessons from electronic identification in sheep when it comes to rolling out the technology to bovines.

The European Commission recently announced it is preparing a proposal for electronic identification in bovines, upgrading the existing plastic tagging system.

DG SANCO, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, said it is confident this step will further increase the traceability of animals and food products for veterinary and food safety purposes and controlling the spread of animal diseases.

The move has been given a cautious welcome by the National Farmers’ Union. John Mercer, chief livestock advisor, said: “We already have individual identification of cattle and full traceability, so it should be easy to implement, but the key is to learn lessons from the introduction of EID in sheep.

“If we can learn from those mistakes and find a solution which doesn’t disadvantage producers or add costs and bureaucracy, then it could bring benefits.”

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