The authorisation of new and replacement cattle tags in Northern Ireland has been temporarily suspended yet again by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Tag manufacturers in the North have recently been informed, by DAERA, of the need to put a further temporary suspension on the authorisation of cattle tags in place. Last weekend, a temporary suspension was also put in place.

From 12:00pm on Saturday, June 17, until 9:00am on Monday, June 19, tag manufacturers will not be able to seek authorisation from the department to produce new or replacement cattle tags.

Farmers are being asked to ensure that they have an adequate supply of new tags for any calves that may need to be tagged and registered over this specific weekend.

The department has also urged farmers to check that all animals set to be moved off-farm, between the dates stated above, are double tagged and to purchase replacement tags in advance if required.

Similarly to the previous temporary suspension, the authorisation of sheep tags will not be affected.

The second suspension is required to facilitate the implementation of the first phase of the new Northern Ireland Food Animal Information System (NIFAIS) database, DAERA added.

The NIFAIS database is being developed to replace the current Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS) database.

Tag manufacturers previously contacted the department’s APHIS database to request authorisation to produce both new and replacement tags.

However, from June 12 onwards the authorisation of cattle tags has been transfered from APHIS to NIFAIS, according to DAERA. The development of NIFAIS is being completed and released in stages, with a full roll-out expected in 2019.