BVD and BDGP calf tissue tagging ruled out

Efforts to move to two tissue tags instead of a conventional tag and a tissue tag have failed.

An 8% loss rate of tissue tags from the ears of cattle is one of the reasons why farmers cannot use two tissue tags in calves, to satisfy the requirements of both the BVD and BDGP schemes.

“For now, we are sticking with the current arrangement, and that is what we propose to do for 2018,” said Department of Agriculture General Secretary Aidan O’Driscoll, last week.

Mr O’Driscoll said: “There is a difficulty in that a good deal of evidence shows the conventional tag to be more secure.

“We get about 4% tag losses of conventional tags and about 8% losses from tissue tags.

“A difficulty arises when there is a tissue tag in both ears. We must ask if it significantly reduces the reliability of the system.”

“We also looked at the option of a dual tissue tag. I will not say that it has had huge difficulties, but it has not worked out for us.”

“When we get through BVD, then the button tag would go, but it is three tags for the time being.”

Mr O’Driscoll was responding to a question from Fianna Fail TD for Carlow-Kilkenny Bobby Aylward, in last week’s Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts debate.

Mr Aylward said he could not understand why farmers such like himself have to go back in July and August and put a third tag in cattle for genomes.


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