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New Sheep EID Tagging Rules

14 June 2019
Type Media Article

Glen Corbett, B&T Drystock Adviser, Teagasc, Tuam

The Department of Agriculture have been introducing full Electronic Identification Tagging (EID) in sheep over the last year. The latest round of this process has just come into play since Saturday, 1st June. The Department circulated a useful step by step guide together with accompanying letter to all flock owners on 17th May last. Most questions you may have can be answered by referring to the DAFM step by step Guide. The Guide has 38 pages, so I will try to refer to the main points. Also issued at that time were new Dispatch Docket books. Talking to Mart Managers, the main point they want to highlight is that farmers coming to marts (and other locations) with sheep should use the new Dispatch Dockets that they have received. The old Dispatch Docket books are obsolete (unless they have the 2 barcodes, which most don’t).

CPRs Central Points of Recording:

Regarding the installation of Central Points of Recording (CPR’s), DAFM have informed us that all the big plants are set up for this at this stage. Flock owners can if they wish present sheep to these factories without inserting individual tag numbers on to the dispatch document and then subsequently correlating the CPR’s list with the dispatch document. See pages 17–20 of the step by step Guide.  Most marts are in the process of getting the new scanning technology installed and will be up and running, they estimate, by August.

Completion of a Dispatch Document:

When a Keeper is moving animals off a holding she/he must complete the new type dispatch document prior to the move including details of the transporter and the destination of the batch. With effect from 1st June 2019, the requirement to provide details of the individual tag number of each animal consigned to a particular batch is determined by the type of premises to which the sheep are moved.

Where sheep are moved to an approved Central Point of Recording (CPR), (information provided at Section D) the presenting Keeper will not be required to list the individual tag numbers of each animal in the batch. The CPR will provide a printed list of all tag numbers presented at the premises within a specific batch, for association with the relevant dispatch document. However, where sheep are moved to premises that are not operating as approved CPRs, the individual animal identification numbers must be listed on the dispatch document before leaving the holding of the presenting Keeper. This will be a requirement for all farm-to-farm movements, movements to shows and movements to marts and slaughter plants that chose not to operate as CPRs. When listing the individual numbers of sheep in a batch that have all originated on your holding and have been tagged in sequential order, i.e. tag numbers 00001 to 00100, it is enough to write the first and last tag number on the dispatch document.


DAFM also claim that most marts (covering 90% of the mart throughput) are in the process of setting up CPR’s, although it might take some time before they are up and running fully. It is advisable that you check with your mart if they are operational as CPRs yet. If in doubt, it is best to fill in the individual tags as you would always have done. It will probably be August in some cases before we see marts set up as CPRs. In this situation flock owners should complete the dispatch document as normal until they are sure that the mart they are attending is set up and operating as a CPR.


As and from 1st June all sheep being sold must be EID tagged, you should be adhering to this new regulation as Department Officials are present in marts. It is a single EID tag for lambs going direct to slaughter from the holding of origin and an EID tag set for ALL other sheep being moved off the holding.

Please note that this single EID tag for lambs going direct to slaughter, should be inserted in the right ear.

KT Approved National Event for Tuam:

On a different note, there will be an interesting and informative KT Approved National Event on the farm of Michael Donnellan, Carnane, Tuam on Wednesday, 26th of June at 7.00pm. Please see advertisement in this paper.

We are hoping people will arrive in good time to facilitate parking and getting everyone in place for the event. The speakers lined up are all deeply involved in the sheep industry and will be giving a good insight on a host of topics relating to Sheep Health and Nutrition.