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Minister McConalogue announces details of financial support package to assist farmers in the move to mandatory electronic identification (EID) for cattle

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, today announced details of a financial package of €4.25 million to offset the additional costs on farmers, in the move to mandatory electronic identification of cattle from January 2022 onwards. 


The Minister said ‘I am very pleased to announce details of this financial support which will assist farmers in transitioning to this new electronic identification system. Mandatory bovine EID will deliver a substantial improvement in the bovine identification system for farmers, livestock marts, slaughter plants, export assembly centres and veterinarians. This initiative aligns with and supports the Food Vision 2030 objective that Ireland will become a world leader in Sustainable Food Systems, enhancing consumer trust in our food systems. Further, it will lead to a safer working environment for all stakeholders with less reliance on manual checking of bovine tag numbers and herd keepers and livestock marts will save time that is currently involved in making amendment applications associated with misreading of animals and mismatched passports when cattle are moving off the holding’.


From 1st January 2022 new EID tag sets will be white in colour and will be eligible for funding under a tag subvention scheme.  The intention is that the scheme will operate over 3 years (2022 to 2024 inclusive) with the first payments scheduled to take place in Quarter 4 2022 amounting to €2.25 million.


Payments in 2022 will be calculated on the number of new EID tag sets purchased from 1st January 2022 at a rate of €1 per new EID tag set. There is a maximum payment of €100 per farmer over the life of the scheme and no application process will be required.  The scheme is proportionately weighted in favour of smaller producers. Farmers can only order annually the number of new tag sets required commensurate to the number of breeding females in the herd.


Eligible Payment Examples:

  • A farmer who purchases 30 new EID tag sets each year will be eligible for a payment of €30 in each year of the  3 years of the scheme.
  • A farmer who purchases 100 new EID tags in the year 1 will be eligible for a payment of €100 in year 1, however, they will not be eligible for further payments in years 2 or 3. 

As previously announced mandatory bovine EID will be implemented in two stages:


  1. from 1st January 2022 all approved bovine tag suppliers will be required to supply an EID tag with all new tag orders. Each new tag set will include one EID tag and one tissue tag. EID tags will be white in colour. The colour of conventional and tissue tags will remain yellow.
  2. from 1st July 2022 it shall be a legal requirement on herd keepers to officially identify all new-born calves with a tag set containing an EID tag.

The Minister thanked the stakeholders for their important contributions into the decision to move forward with mandatory bovine EID.  He concluded by urging cattle herd keepers to use up all existing stocks of tags as only white EID tags can be used to officially identify and register calves born on or after 1st July 2022.