HC Deb 21 December 2000 vol 360 cc327-8W
14. Mr. Loughton

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the effect on the welfare of livestock of ear tagging. [142350]

Mr. Morley

Many representations have been received voicing concerns about distance readable cattle eartags. It is, of course, an EU requirement for all cattle born after 1 January 1998 to be identified with at least one distance readable eartag. Such tags, although still relatively new for the UK, have been in use for some time in other European countries and no welfare problems have been reported.

The identification of sheep and goats by eartag or tattoo will also be legally required in Great Britain from 1 January 2001. We have already issued guidance to farmers on best tagging and tattooing practice.

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