Electronic Identification (EID) offers many benefits for anyone involved in the handling of sheep and cattle.
EID uses a microchip, or electronic transponder, embedded in a tag, bolus or implant to identify a farm animal.
EID recording does require an initial investment in on-farm technology. In very basic situations this means purchasing equipment that will read the EID tags, and having access to a computer with some simple farm management software installed. This software will then manage the information collected.
EID offers lots of opportunities. The key to using it effectively is not making it too complicated and using the technology to the level that you can see a benefit and return from, beyond what is required for simple identification purposes.
The EID Recording project was funded by the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 and delivered by HCC. It aimed to understand more about the barriers to the uptake of electronic recording.
The project aimed to work with up to 1500 eligible sheep farming businesses to better understand their concerns about the use of EID technologies and to provide them with access to information, training and support relating to the practical benefits of electronic recording. It utilised a combination of online training and provided a financial incentive of £500 for participation and to encourage the use of technologies that would ultimately lead to increased operational efficiencies and improved performance.
Participating sheep farmers provided a range of information with data obtained online via the online registration process, on completion of the web-based training and via follow-on surveys. The information gathered focussed entirely on collecting on participants previous attitudes and experiences of recording (electronically or manually), on their experiences in using EID equipment and software to date as part of this project and what they would hope to achieve through the continued use of EID recording on their flock.
A total of 1966 businesses registered to participate and 1716 businesses completed the project.
Click here to read the summary of the project findings
The full report can be found here
More information about EID www.ewemanage-IT.org.uk