Electronic Identification of Bovines to be Introduced in the EU

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Electronic Identification of Bovines to be Introduced in the EU

Electronic Identification of Bovines to be Introduced in the EU
September 01
10:50 2011

The European Commission has adopted a proposal that, when implemented, is intended to further enhance food safety and better safeguard animal health in the EU. In particular, the Commission proposal provides the legal framework for the introduction, for the first time and on a voluntary basis, of an electronic identification system (EID) for bovine animals.


Bovine EID is already used in several EU Member States on a private basis mainly for farm management purposes. Its implementation on a wider scale will strengthen the current traceability system for bovine animals and food products (eg beef) making it faster and more accurate. Finally, it may bring benefits to farmers and other stakeholders as it will reduce the administrative burden through the simplification of the current administrative procedures. Despite its voluntary character, the Commission proposal allows Member States to introduce a mandatory regime at national level.


In addition to EID, the Commission proposal introduces changes in relation to labelling, by repealing the current provisions on voluntary beef labelling. The main objective is to reduce unnecessary administrative burden.


According to the Commission, Bovine EID will strengthen consumer protection, improve disease prevention and control and crisis management, support the competitiveness of the sector (eg by facilitating identification and registration controls or by improving breeding animal and production management systems) and improve trade perspectives. Meat processing establishments and traders of live animals will also benefit through a reduction of labour costs.


The proposal will now be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council. The implementation date will depend on the time needed for these two institutions to reach an agreement.

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