Cattle Tagging

Cattle tagging legislation for all cattle born after July 1st 2000

  • Need to be identifiable by a numeric cattle tag in each ear
  • The numeric cattle tagging system was brought in in January 2000 and made compulsory in July 2000


Cattle tagging legislation for all cattle born after January 1st 1998

  • Are required to have an approved cattle tag in each ear (double tagging)
  • The same unique number must be on each eartag
  • The unique number is how the livestock will be identified throughout their life.


Cattle tagging legislation for all cattle born or imported into Great Britain before 1 January 1998

  • Can continue with the single tag with the same number as identification
  • Can use a new number on a single tag for identification (if the number is changed the cattle registration records must be updated with BCMS to retain traceability.)
  • Can use a new set of double tags for identification (if new double tags are used the cattle registration records must be updated with BCMS to retain traceability.) Subsequent replacement tags must always use this number.


Cattle Tagging – When to Tag

The following deadlines must me met for tagging calves.

Dairy Cattle: Need to be tagged within 36 hours of birth with at least one tag. The calf needs to be tagged with the second tag within 20 days of birth and can’t leave it’s holding of birth until it has both eartags.

Beef Cattle: All calves need to have approved eartags fitted in both ears within 20 days of birth or before it moves from it’s holding of birth.

Animals that have died prior to these deadlines don’t need cattle tagging.


Cattle Tagging – Double Tagging

Double tagging is done with Primary and Secondary tags

  • The primary Tag is made of yellow plastic and is required to be at least 45mm in height and 55mm in width. It is required to be printed with characters at least 5mm high and bearing the GB crown symbol, the letters UK and the unique animal identification number. The tag can be inserted in either ear.
  • The Secondary tag can be metal, a button and other plastic options are available. It can also have management information on and must be in the opposite ear to the primary tag.


Cattle Tagging Replacements

Replacements need to be ordered within 28 days of noticing lost tags. If the animal is born or imported after January 1st 1998 it must retain the same number throughout it’s life.


Sheep and Goat Registration

Sheep and Goat Tagging

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