VEGA responds to a Defra consultation on the double tagging of sheep and goats
VEGA's response to the Defra consultation on the double tagging of sheep and goats follows:
Ear tagging must be regarded as a mutilation of no benefit to the animal and likely to inflict hurt and possibly injury and infection; therefore it is unlikely to be acceptable in the traffic and movements of animals such as dogs, cats or horses.
While it persists and less offensive alternatives can be speedily introduced for essential recording of vital data and treatments, tagging should be performed and logged in the presence of a veterinary surgeon; likewise with replacements, when injuries or infection in the ear should be acted on (which may require means of nursing and of medication and pain relief usable for animals born for killing in the intentions of producing food “fit” for human consumption).
These strictures apply to the proposed system and to the existing regime. Adoption of the former is likely to find earlier and wider application of our recommendations in an industry of notable callousness.