You must iden­tify your sheep:

Country Smallholding - - Sheep -

Within six months of birth if they are housed overnight.

Within nine months of birth if they are not housed overnight.

Be­fore you move them off their hold­ing of birth if this is sooner.

Lambs in­tended for slaugh­ter be­fore they are one year old may be iden­ti­fied with a sin­gle elec­tronic tag which shows only your flock num­ber. Lambs that you in­tend to re­tain for breed­ing pur­poses or for later fat­ten­ing should be tagged in the same way as older an­i­mals.

Use two iden­ti­fi­ca­tion mark­ers on sheep over 12 months old, usu­ally ear tags, both of which carry that an­i­mal’s unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber made up of the seven-digit UK num­ber and a five-fig­ure in­di­vid­ual num­ber. In most cases, one will be a yel­low EID ear tag which car­ries an elec­tronic chip. In Scot­land it is a rec­om­men­da­tion for it to be yel­low, and in North­ern Ire­land the EID tag can be any colour. The other tag will be a vis­ual iden­ti­fier with the same num­ber.

Lost or dam­aged ear tags must be re­placed within 28 days of you dis­cov­er­ing the loss.

Lost tags can re­placed by iden­ti­cal tags, or a dif­fer­ent pair of tags can be in­serted, but then the new num­ber must be cross ref­er­enced to the old ID in your flock reg­is­ter. Where in­sert­ing iden­ti­cal tags isn’t an op­tion, and the an­i­mal is not on its hold­ing of birth, red re­place­ment tags must be used.

In the case of pedi­gree sheep, ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion may need to be printed on ear tags in or­der to com­ply with the regis­tra­tion rules of the rel­e­vant breed so­ci­ety, but this is not a le­gal re­quire­ment. Some so­ci­eties is­sue their own pre-printed tags to mem­bers.

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