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Electronic Tagging: Sheep

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will make a statement on the generic animal number format for electronic identification for sheep; (127262)

(2) how many unique animal numbers for sheep will be available for the UK under plans to introduce electronic identification for sheep.

EU Council Regulation 21/2004 requires the code structure of electronic identification (EID) transponders to be compliant with International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard 11784. This provides for a 12 digit binary number (the highest number being 274,877,906,043) to be used to identify each animal. However, this range of numbers is not available for sheep alone. The ISO code structure applies to all animals which may be electronically identified so we therefore need to build a way to identify each species into the numbering sequence.

We have yet to decide on what numbering system we will adopt should EID be introduced. Discussions with the devolved Governments and interested organisations in England are ongoing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the European Commission to publish their implementation report on electronic identification for sheep. (127266)

The Commission’s implementation report on electronic identification for sheep is expected to be available this spring.