Bovine EID pilot scheme on the way

The pilot will start in the spring.

A new bovine EID pilot scheme will be introduced in Scotland in the spring.

The confirmation came from Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing following representations from the industry.

Last month the Scottish Bovine EID stakeholder group, which represents almost all parties with an interest in cattle in Scotland, called for a government-backed pilot to start by the end of 2018.

In a statement issued to mark the first anniversary of the cattle movement system, ScotMoves, Mr Ewing said: “Through the introduction of the ScotMoves system we are increasing the resilience and quality of our cattle sector, as a next step a new bovine EID pilot will start in the spring.”

At a briefing in December, chairman of the stakeholder group, Andrew McCornick, said the industry had worked hard to put forward the case that a pilot for cattle EID in Scotland was needed to ensure that any full introduction was best suited to the needs of Scottish farmers, crofters, marts and abattoirs.

ScotMoves was introduced a year ago to provide transparency on the location of cattle within the country in a bid to control and eradicate diseases. It is also a way of checking that cattle in Scotland continue to meet the eligibility criteria for BSE Negligible Risk status.

More than 4,000 cattle farmers have now registered to record cattle moves and nearly half a million such movements have been recorded, a landmark figure that was welcomed by Mr Ewing.

“This is new information, which increases the providence, quality and resilience of the sector as these keepers are making the effort to record these moves on a system that is easy to use and well designed,” said Mr Ewing.

ScotMoves replaced CTS Links.