July 2008: Concessions been achieved over the new EU electronic ID (EID) regulations for sheep and goats.

The EU Commission’s Standing Committee on theFood Chain and Animal Health has voted forchanges to individual recording requirements for sheep and goats.Thenew regulations introduce compulsory electronic identification (EID) ofsheep and individual recording of sheep and goats from December 31,2009. But concern has been expressed that the requirement to record individual details of animalsthat are not electronically identified on movement documents would betoo burdensome.DEFRA said it had workedclosely with the Commission and had secured changes to regulations thatwill considerably reduce the movement recording burdens. The regulations now provide for a phased approach to the introduction of individual recording so that:• No animals will have to be individually recorded on a movement document until January 1 2011,• No animals born before December 31 2009 will have to be individually recorded on a movement document until December 31 2011• No animal born before December 31 2009 and moving to slaughter(directly or via a market) will have to be recorded on a movementdocument at all.The changes should help reduce the individual recording burden that sheep and goat keepers would have faced.DEFRA has recognised that “there are practical issues with implementation” and wants to ensure that “apractical system that keepers can work with” is put in place.

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