Views sought on proposed livestock movement changes for Wales

The Welsh government is asking for farmers’ views on how livestock are identified, registered and how their movements are reported.

The government’s consultation will run until January 2, and relates to processes for sheep, goats and pigs, together with the proposed implementation of Bovine Electronic Identified (Bovine EID).

The changes the Welsh government aims to implement would see mandatory whole movement reporting and journey information for all livestock, which will help the farming industry to improve farm management and support disease control.

Other proposals include:

  • Voluntary pre-movement reporting, which would be recorded electronically before the animals leaves the holding. This could potentially allow the removal of paper movement forms for sheep;
  • A mandatory requirement for Central Point Recording Centres, such as markets and abattoirs, to read Electronic Identification (EID) tags and provide same day reporting for all livestock;
  • A new Welsh cattle passport and the removal of registration and movement reporting for cattle in paper format;
  • Electronic identification for cattle in 2023, meaning all newborn calves after an agreed launch date would need to be identified with two tags with at least one of these being an EID tag;
  • Online herd and flock registers and a dedicated circular show movement process to reduce multiple movement reports.

Views are also being sought on the future identification options for pigs, together with an annual registration of holdings and annual inventory of pigs kept in Wales.

“The introduction of these changes will make a positive difference to our industry, reducing regulatory burden where possible and making full use of digital technology to modernise our processes. They will also ensure our industry is resilient and sustainable for the future,” said Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths.

The development of EIDCymru, the online movement reporting service, into a Welsh multispecies system, coupled with electronic identification, provides an opportunity to define Wales’ identity and enhance our reputation for high animal health and welfare and standards.

“Responses to the consultation are very important and I encourage everyone with an interest to make their opinions known.”

Farmers interested in sharing their views can do so online, here.