To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has commissioned on the effectiveness of the regulations on livestock traceability; and what plans she has to amend them. 
Defra propose to run a pilot trial to fully test Electronic Identification (EID) and Electronic Data Transfer (EOT) systems within the English sheep industry. The aim is to test the effectiveness of EID/EDT in a live working environment, analysing take up issues on the use of electronic tracing and identifying the benefits. We plan to run the pilot trial from December 2003 to December 2004, with a full report available in February 2005. This trial will help to inform future policies in this area.