Government issues guidance for ear tags for live exports

The UK Government has issued new guidance on changes to ear tags for livestock exports and movements from Great Britain to the EU and Northern Ireland from 1 January. The Government is encouraging livestock exporters to prepare for new changes that will apply to ear tagging when the transition period ends.

From 1 January 2021, exporters from Great Britain will need to ensure their animals are identified with the ISO country code, which is ‘GB’ for the UK. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will also need to meet these requirements.

The government has published updated guidance setting out the actions GB livestock exporters will need to take to get ready for 1 January.

For pig tagging, the guidance says: “You should identify pigs you want to export or move to the EU or NI with an ear tag or tattoo that states: UK, with the GB suffix (UK-GB), the animal’s herd mark, and an individual ID number.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “We have been working closely with the farming industry to find practical solutions to prepare them for 1 January. We encourage livestock exporters to follow the steps set out in our guidance on the changes to ear tagging, and to contact their suppliers.”

Exporters should contact importers to confirm that how they identify their animals is acceptable. Exporters should also contact their ear tag suppliers to ensure that they are able to identify their animals with the correct tags from 1 January 2021.


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