Tighter controls for sheep and goat tagging announced

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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that it will apply tighter controls on missing tags for sheep and goats from 01 January 2018.

From 01 January 2018 the acceptable tag loss threshold, where both tags are missing, will be reduced from 30% to 10%. This threshold will apply regardless of flock size. In instances where one tag is missing the 30% threshold will still apply.

Farmers are required to replace any lost or illegible (unreadable) means of identification within 28 days of noticing their loss or illegibility or before the animal leaves the holding, whichever is earlier. (Cross-Compliance Statutory Management Requirement 8).

Farmers who, at an On the Spot Check (OTSC), are found to have sheep and/or goat flocks with missing tags that fall below these thresholds will be issued with a Cross-Compliance warning letter. Farmers who are above either 10% or 30% will have a Cross-Compliance penalty applied.

Where the breach identified is judged to have been caused by the negligence of the keeper the penalty applied will be in the range 1% to 5% depending on the severity, extent and permanence of the breach. Breaches that are judged to have been caused intentionally will have a penalty in the range 15% to 100% applied.

A full list of Cross-Compliance verifiable standards can be found in the following document: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/daera/2017%20Cross-Compliance%20Verifiable%20Standards%20-%20Full%20Version.pdf