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Legislative requirements for the identification and traceability of farm animals within the European Union

Author(s) : S. Ammendrup & A.-E. Füssel

Summary :

European Community (EC) legislation requires identification and registration of bovine, ovine, caprine and porcine animals. For intra-Community trade, bovine animals must be accompanied by a passport and the required health certificate, and identified by a tag on each ear. The principles of active identification of bovine animals (by ear tags) and of ovine, caprine and porcine animals (by ear tags or tattoos) are harmonised within the EC. International passports are issued and recognised only for registered Equidae. The life-number was introduced as an instrument to allow uninterrupted identification of Equidae using passports. The principles of issuing and recording such numbers have been outlined by the affected industries, but require official approval. Active identification of Equidae using electronic devices is not regulated by EC legislation, but research in livestock is underway.

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