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HomeDairyFarming tip of the week: Order replacement tags
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Farming tip of the week: Order replacement tags

As we get further into the summer, things begin to quieten down on the farm and there is more time to perform other tasks that have been put on the back-foot.

One task that should be taken into consideration is ordering replacement ear tags.

The Irish bovine animal identification system requires that all cattle have two identically numbered ear tags.

Animal identification is part of SMR7 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and non-compliance, either deliberate or through negligence, will lead to a penalty being placed on the animal owner’s Single Farm Payment (SFP).

Under SMR7, You must:

  • Use only approved ear tags on both ears;
  • Tag all calves within 20 days of birth and in any event;
  • before they leave the holding if earlier than 20 days;
  • Register all calf births within 7 days of tagging;
  • Ensure that purchased cattle have correct ear tags and passports;
  • Ensure that cattle moving off the holding are correctly tagged and are accompanied by the proper documentation i.e. Passport and valid Compliance Certificate;
  • Replace lost ear tag(s) immediately on discovering the loss.

You must not:

  • Remove, replace, alter or deface an ear tag;
  • Register ear tags prior to tagging the animal(s).


Most issues with non-compliance and penalties fall under SMR7 and are mainly due to tagging. A certain low number of animals with one tag can be accepted, but animals missing 2 tags automatically leads to a 1% penalty on payments.

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Therefore, it is extremely important to replace lost or broken tags and protect your farm income.

Where can I get tags?

The department approved manufacturers of bovine tags are as follows:

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