Bovine eID update

Bovine electronic identification in England – Defra Q&A November 2020

Defra will be seeking views on the proposed approach to Bovine Electronic Identification (bEID) in 2021. The consultation will seek views on both mandatory and voluntary options. They will also consult on additional policy changes relating to cattle identification and traceability which includes:

  • Removal of cattle passports 
  • Removal of the option to report in writing 
  • Enabling pre-movement reporting 
  • Capturing transport/haulier details (to bring cattle in line with sheep, goats, and pigs) 
  • Enabling reporting of show moves as a circular movement 

When will bEID be introduced?

Defra will use responses submitted to the public consultation to inform how they proceed with implementation plans. They plan to introduce bEID during a quieter period in the year for cattle keepers, and in advance of spring or autumn peak calving, to ensure keepers have time to familiarise themselves with the proposed changes. 

How far in advance should I order conventional cattle tags? 

Keepers are advised to avoid stockpiling cattle tags and only order the amount needed for spring calving (2021).  A further update will be released closer to autumn calving (2021). 

Scotland and Wales are also implementing bEID – are your timescales for introduction similar? 

In line with the devolved nature of animal health policy, each administration is working on its own timetable. Having said that, Defra are working collaboratively to ensure that policy changes are as aligned as possible and that no administration creates burden or confusion for keepers. Following the public consultation, there  will be clearer timescales for the implementation of bEID. 

Will bEID be mandatory? 

Defra will be seeking views on both mandatory and voluntary bEID in the public consultation. They will review all responses received, before finalising bEID policy.