Consultation on cattle identification and traceability in Scotland

Closes 27 Jun 2024

Opened 4 Apr 2024


The Scottish Government is seeking views on changes to cattle identification and traceability regime within Scotland.

Introduction of Bovine electronic identification (EID) has been a longstanding industry request.  It is seen by many in the farming sector as an opportunity to modernise and improve on efficiencies whilst supporting competitiveness within the supply chain.  Use of technology can also provide additional health and safety benefits in being able to read cattle at a safe distance.

As set out in the Vision for Agriculture, the Scottish Ministers recognise that the development and the introduction of new technologies will play an important role as we look to modernise the farming sector for a more sustainable future.  Therefore, we have to date supported and funded an industry led bovine EID pilot focusing on the potential use of ultra-high frequency (UHF) technology across Scotland. Use of low frequency (LF) EID for identification of sheep is already required. 

Our current position is technology neutral. The ScotEID multi-species relational database system is also technology neutral and looks to capture data in an accurate and timely manner.

Further, respondents’ views are also sought on a number of other proposals in relation to:

  • the use of a fully online holding register for all cattle births, deaths and movements (a partial online holding register currently exists for within business movements),
  • reporting and recording timescales, and
  • the removal of paper cattle passports for EID identified animals.

The consultation describes how changes to current requirements could be introduced in Scotland and a Partial Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) has been produced.  Following the conclusion of the consultation a full BRIA will be produced taking onboard any consultee views and further assessment of Regulatory alignment. 

Read the consultation paper. The consultation paper contains full background information for this consultation. You may find it useful to read or refer to while responding.

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).


Why your views matter

The consultation is to gather views on the proposed changes to the cattle identification and traceability regime within Scotland. We are interested to hear from anyone, and would particularly like to hear from Scottish cattle keepers, markets, abattoirs, Scottish local authorities and other industry bodies and representatives.

Give us your views


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