ARCHIVE: Policy & legislation
Electronic identification (EID) and individual recording is an EU obligation from 31 December 2009. EID is mandatory for sheep born on or after this date (expect sheep going to slaughter within 12 months of age see below for further details). To avoid national disallowance and the risk of EU infractions, the UK was required to implement EID and individual recording as required by EU law.
In the UK, EID replaced the double tagging rules for sheep, but EID is not mandatory for goats because the UK goat population falls below the EU threshold. However, goats will still need to be individually recorded on a holding register/movement documents.
EID is not mandatory for sheep which are intended for slaughter within 12 months of age. The slaughter lamb derogation allows the use of a single non-electronic slaughter batch tag, or a single electronic tag. Also animals identified under this derogation will not need to be individually recorded and can continue to be moved and recorded on a batch basis. This rule also applies to animals born or identified before 31 December 2009.
Regulation 21/2004 (PDF) was adopted in 2003 and provided for EID to be introduced from 1 January 2008. A further two year delay was secured in December 2007 to implement EID on 31 December 2009.
Since the date for implementing EID was agreed, Defra and the industry lobbied hard with the European Commission to secure concessions to the annexes of the regulation which have reduced the impact of implementation. These changes have helped to considerably reduce the movement recording burdens, in particular with regard to how we deal with individual recording of non-electronically identified animals.
Policy and legislation documents
- The Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (England) Order 2009
- Impact Assessment for the introduction of sheep and goat EID under EC Regulation 21/2004 (PDF 325 KB)
- English pilot trial of EID/ETD in Sheep (31 October 2005) (PDF 700 KB)
- ADAS field trials in support of producing a regulatory impact assessment for sheep identification in England (13 April 2006) (PDF 2.2 MB)
- Council Regulation No 21/2004 establishing a system for the identification and registration for sheep & goats and Council and Commission amendment.
- Defra evidence report to the European Commission (PDF 90KB), based on the findings of UK trials and its own Regulatory Impact Assessment.
- Impact Assessment for the introduction of sheep and goat electronic identification (EID) under EC Regulation 21/2004 – Born or Identified after 31 December 2009 (PDF 300 KB)
- Impact Assessment for older animals (Born before 31 December 2009) following the introduction of electronic identification (EID) and individual recording for sheep and goats (PDF 650 KB)
- Impact of Sheep EID on Disease Control, August 2006 (PDF 300 KB)
- Impact of Sheep EID on Disease Control - Additional analysis, September 2008 (PDF 450 KB)
- Technical guidelines, including best practice guidance and accreditation requirements as agreed by Member States:
- European Commission - Cost analysis for small ruminant holdings in Member States.
Page last modified: March 1, 2010