§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 7 February 2001]: The requirement for cattle eartags is laid down in European Union legislation (Council Regulation 1760/2000). Any changes therefore would need to be agreed at EU level.
Eartags authorised for official cattle identification are supplied to the industry by a range of eartag manufacturers. The price they charge for replacement tags is a commercial matter. Farmers may be able to reduce their costs by selecting an alternative supplier. We are currently investigating the principal reasons for loss or damage to cattle eartags with a view to helping the industry minimise the need for replacement tags.