News & Information

28/05/2020: ScotEID huntly office

Many thanks for your patience if any call you made to the Huntly office was delayed or you had to leave a message during the lockdown period. We are now steadily building capacity in the office whilst abiding with Government guidelines. With all good luck and guidance we will be back to full capacity for the Autumn sales season, and thereafter for the transition from CTS to ScotEID at the end of November, recording cattle births, deaths and business to business movements.

13/05/2020: Updated T&Cs and data protection policy

Please note that our Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Policy have been updated. Amongst other updates, references are made to the requirements involving the replacement of CTS at the end of November 2020. The update also includes the addition of the word “operator”, which is defined in the Terms and Conditions .

06/05/2020: Transition of cattle births/deaths/movements from CTS to ScotEID

Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon made the following announcement today:

Following discussions with the Bovine EID Industry Working Group* on the transition from CTS to ScotEID, it has been agreed to delay the go live date from summer 2020 to the end of November 2020. This is due to the impact that COVID-19 is having on some third party software providers, as well as the wider farming community.
The end of November date will mean that the Autumn calving period and the main cattle sales will both be finished and there will be the minimum number of births and movements being registered on the system.
We will continue to monitor the timings and the impact of COVID-19. If November is no longer an option the next suitable go live date would be the end of January 2021. This would avoid the busy Christmas period and have the system ready before Spring calving commenced.

*The Bovine EID industry working group is made up of: National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Beef Association, Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, Scottish Crofters Federation, Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, Quality Meat Scotland, Food Standards Scotland, ScotEID and Scottish Government.

A copy of the draft web service documentation can be found below:
ScotMoves Plus web service documentation

24/03/2020: ScotEID information centre reduced capacity

Following the announcement by the Government on Monday evening, the Huntly office will be closed today Tuesday. The office operation will be reconfigured to handle urgent calls and requests. We expect to have a very reduced staff available as from tomorrow Wednesday 25th to handle urgent calls. In the meantime do not hesitate to email us on and we will provide assistance.
Many thanks
Josie Forth, Office Manager.

31/01/2020: Quick guide to pig movements

A Quick Guide for Pig Movements leaflet with advice for new and existing pig keepers can be found at the link below.
Quick guide to pig movements

22/01/2020: FIELD survey of farmer experience of and attitude to endemic disease

A GB research consortium named FIELD are looking at farmer experience of and attitude to endemic disease. The focus is on lameness in sheep and BVD in cattle and the output may help shape future policy direction. The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete. For every survey completed £5 will be donated to Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolant Institution. The survey will close at the end of March.

Click here to participate in the Survey

Please note this is unrelated to the December Sheep and Goat Inventory and Agricultural Survey

16/01/2020: ScotEID cattle EID roadshow EID FAQ

A Frequently Asked Questions leaflet about cattle Electronic IDentification can be found by clicking the link below
Cattle EID FAQ

17/12/2019: ScotEID cattle EID winter roadshow (new dates for 2020)

Please join us in your local area for more information on the current proposal for Scottish Cattle Electronic Identification (EID).
2020 Roadshow dates & locations

15/10/2019: ScotEID cattle EID winter roadshow 2019

Please join us in your local area for more information on the current proposal for Scottish Cattle Electronic Identification (EID).
2019 Roadshow dates & locations

02/10/2019: ScotEID will be the new home for cattle recording in Scotland.

ScotEID is preparing to incorporate births, deaths and movements for cattle on the website, replacing the BCMS/CTS for Scottish cattle keepers.

The new system is designed to accommodate Cattle EID from the outset and will become an all-species database, essential to more quickly manage disease outbreaks.

The ScotEID team is planning a series of roadshow events to take place throughout Scotland from October until March to explain more about the system.

Read the full press release

05/08/2019: Short video from the highland show

A short video on ScotEID, filmed at our stand at the Highland Show this year, can be found here

Royal Highland Show 20-23 June 2019

ScotEID is back at the Royal Highland Show this year. There are demonstrations from the ScotEID Technical Team on the Cattle EID Pilot, UHF tags and readers, and they are there to answer questions. The ScotEID Information Centre team is back to help with queries connected to Sheep, Pig and ScotMoves movements, as well as any BVD questions. There is also information available on and SmartRural is present to show the LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) kit and to talk about their Pilot Project.

Please come along and visit us on the 7th Avenue.

14/05/2019: Confirmed cases of Swine Dysentery in Scotland

Several cases of swine dysentery have been confirmed in the north-east and the source of the infection remains unclear.

You are advised to take immediate precautions to minimise the risk of infectious material coming onto your farm. This bacteria is spread by physical contact so the big risks are incoming pigs, vehicles, people and equipment. Make sure you have ample disinfectant and consider increasing strength in cold weather. Attached are three information sheets giving more detailed advice.

Please contact your vet & the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre on 01466 705247 if you suspect any symptoms as working together and rapid communication greatly increase our chances of containing the spread.

02/05/2019: New international standard for cattle EID

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is in the process of devising a new international standard for animal identification, to replace the long-standing standard known as ISO11784 that currently dictates how electronic identifiers, for use on animals, are encoded using LF technology.

Compliance with ISO11784 is the reason that bovine EID using LF technology will require renumbering of cattle across the UK, including in Scotland. Global recognition that ISO11784 is somewhat out-dated has prompted moves to replace it with a more flexible approach that also recognises recent technological advances (e.g. it will apply to UHF as well LF). As-and-when the new standard is introduced, it would allow LF-based bovine EID to be adopted across the UK without requiring changes to the cattle numbering system, thereby avoiding some costs and disruption.

The attached one-page paper provides some more details on this.
Resolving LF-EID cattle numbering in the UK by using ISO's replacement for 11784

13/03/2019: Cattle EID

Further to the news item of 31/08/2018 (see below), the proposed implementation dates for cattle EID in Scotland are likely to be delayed; however, they will still be subject to industry consultation and approval. EU exit and some other factors out with Scottish Government’s control have impacted on planned timescales.

Subject to the Scottish Government consultation exercise, electronic identification (EID) of cattle will be phased-in for Scotland over the next few years. New proposed dates for implementation will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The ScotEID team will organise a ‘road show’ around Scotland during the time of the consultation period to describe the industry led EID project and ongoing development of Cattle EID and the new data systems that will eventually replace CTS. Dates and venues will be posted here and locally advertised during the consultation period.

Extensive development of the new system remains ongoing, with very promising results from UHF tags, particularly when using the latest UHF readers that are now available.

The ScotEID system will be able to utilise LF tags when they become available in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) format, also delayed.

ScotEID will be at the Highland Show again this year, and the ScotEID team will be delighted to bring you up to date with the latest developments and demonstrate the technology.

24/12/2018: Office festive opening hours

The ScotEID office will be closed on the 25th & 26th of December and the 1st and 2nd of January

18/12/2018: Website data protection policy and T&Cs updated

Due to increasing functionality, we are committed to regularly reviewing our Website Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Policy. Amongst other updates, references to the BSE Negligible Risk checker have been removed. The update also recognises the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that came in to force on the 25th May 2018, as advice and guidance from the Information Commissioners Office continues to evolve.

18/10/2018: BSE

A case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire.

In line with the disease prevention response plan, precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while further investigations to identify the origin of the disease occur.This is standard procedure for a confirmed case of classical BSE, which does not represent a threat to human health.

17/10/2018: African Swine Fever
Do you keep pigs, even just as pets...?

African swine fever is spreading in eastern and central Europe. This disease only affects pigs but is highly contagious and often fatal. If it were to reach the UK it would have a devastating effect on the health of our pigs and on domestic and international trade of pigs and pork.

Please see the poster and letter below for more information and advice:

31/08/2018: Cattle EID

Subject to a Scottish Government consultation exercise, compulsory electronic identification (EID) of cattle is due to be phased-in for Scotland over the next few years. This is anticipated to improve the speed and accuracy of traceability, hopefully paving the way for removal of paper passports. The currently proposed dates for implementation are:

  • From January 2020, all calves born on Scottish holdings will have to be EID-tagged.
  • From June 2022, any other bovine moving off a Scottish holding will have to be EID-tagged.
  • Farmers wishing to EID-tag their animals earlier than these dates will be able to do so, from June 2019.

This phased approach will give sufficient time for existing on-farm stocks of non-EID tags to be run down and for many existing cattle to pass through the supply-chain without being retagged. As yet, a date for EID-tagging the remaining cattle on the holding has not been issued (i.e. older cattle not moving off a holding).

Reflecting industry views from across the supply-chain, EID-tagging will entail the combined use of both Low Frequency (LF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags. LF is already in use for sheep EID (and some on-farm cattle management purposes) but has some constraints, whilst UHF offers some technical and cost advantages likely to make it increasingly attractive for livestock traceability (such that the International Standards Organisation is working on extending animal identification standards to UHF). The combination of LF and UHF can be achieved via a single, dual LF-UHF tag, a UHF flag backed by a LF button tag, or by separate LF and UHF tags (one in each ear).

To allow the use of What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) EID tags under the prevailing international standard for animal numbering (ISO11784), all Scottish cattle IDs issued after June 2019 will commence “25”, but for continuity will retain existing herd numbers and animal number sequences. Existing cattle switching to EID-tags will retain their current IDs.

Further information is available here.

18/05/2018: The Cattle EID Pilot at the Royal Highland Show 21-24 June 2018

This year, for the first time, ScotEID are at the Royal Highland Show, showcasing the latest research and development on the Cattle EID Pilot. The ScotEID Technical Team are demonstrating the new cattle UHF tags and readers and are on hand to answer your queries. Alongside are members from the ScotEID Information Centre to demonstrate aspects of ScotEID including sheep and pig moves, BVD and ScotMoves, and answer your questions.
Please come and visit us on 7th Avenue, next to the Sponsor Pavilion.

01/05/2018: BVD eradication videos

Scottish Government are continuing to make and publish videos to promote the BVD eradication scheme. The most recent videos explain why the check test is valuable and is worth doing correctly, and the importance of protecting pregnant cows and heifers against BVD.
BVD Videos

02/04/2018: Full implementation of Phase 4 of the BVD eradication scheme

From the 3rd of April phase 4 of the BVD eradication scheme will be fully implemented. This will reward keepers who buy cattle responsibly, and will require anyone bringing in risky animals to test them for BVD or lose their BVD “negative” herd status.
The risky animals are:

  • Calves born on Scottish non-breeding holdings that have not been individually tested for BVD
  • Cattle moving off a Scottish “not negative” herd that do not have an individual negative status (either BVD test result or assumed negative from having a calf)
  • Cattle without individual BVD test results coming from herds outside Scotland

More information can be found on the Scottish Government BVD "what's new" page

24/03/2018: New contact details for SAMU

To contact the Scottish Animal Movement Unit (SAMU) please phone Dumfries RPID (Rural Payments & Inspections Division) on 0300 244 5888 and ask for SAMU. The fax number is now 0300 244 8844. The email address remains

20/12/2017: African Swine Fever

Pig keepers are being reminded that it is illegal to feed kitchen scraps or catering waste to their pigs, as this may spread disease. Buying a recognised pig feed from your local agricultural merchant is the safest option. This issue is being highlighted following the spread of African Swine Fever in parts of Eastern and Central Europe this year.
For more information visit:

29/11/2017: Sheep and goat Inventory and December Survey

All sheep & goat keepers should have received an Inventory or Survey either by email or in the post, please complete, as soon as possible. The best way to do this is online. The link and password are in your email or printed on your form. If you are a sheep or goat keeper but haven’t received a form, please check your emails. Otherwise please contact the Scottish Government at 0300 244 9725 (ScotEID cannot issue the emails, forms or passwords).
More information is available at

14/11/2017 : ScotMoves - Renew your additional holdings and exemptions

Additional holdings and exemptions can now be renewed on your ScotMoves Home page. Login to ScotEID, select ‘ScotMoves’ and those additional holdings and exemptions that are due for renewal will be highlighted. You can click the ‘renew’ button online or contact ScotEID if you prefer. If you require to use ScotMoves for the first time this Winter please contact ScotEID to register for ScotMoves.

26/09/2017: Website data protection policy and T&Cs updated

Due to increasing functionality, we are committed to regularly reviewing our Website Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Policy. Amongst other updates they now provide for the BSE Negligible Risk checker. The update also recognises the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018 replacing the existing UK Data Protection Act 1998.

24/08/2017: BVD phase 5 consultation

The Scottish Government, working with the BVD Advisory Group, are consulting on ‘phase 5’ of Scotland’s BVD eradication scheme. Since the introduction of Scotland's BVD eradication scheme the level of exposure has dropped significantly. The reduction is due to great efforts by cattle keepers and their vets to test cattle, identifying sources of BVD infection and removing them.

The BVD Advisory Group have agreed that there should be further restrictions on not negative herds to prevent disease spread. Particularly focusing on keepers that continue to retain PI animals or seem content not to investigate the cause of their not negative status.

Farmers’ views are essential to shaping this next phase 5. The consultation information is available at:

Or, telephone the ScotEID office on 01466 794323 for a printed copy of the consultation document.

04/07/2017: BES Data Capture Deadline Approaching - 15th July 2017

The deadline for entering the calving data for calves born between 1st January to 1st June 2017 is approaching. The calving data includes entering; ease of calving, calf size, and calf vigour. Please ensure that your calving data is complete and you have entered reasons for your disposals by the 15th July 2017.

26/05/2017: ScotMoves – Springtime cattle movements

There are now 3,600 keepers registered on ScotMoves, who have recorded 7,900 additional holdings. Movements recorded on ScotMoves now exceed 220,000 – about 10,000 recorded movements each week since its launch on the 1st January 2017. Recording this information centrally on ScotMoves supports the whole beef industry by accurately recording where all Scottish cattle are currently located, now moved onto springtime grazing. The system aids disease control and eradication - such as BVD where the system accurately records the location of PI cattle. Many thanks are due to cattle farmers who are registered on ScotMoves for their continuing support and feedback, which helps us improve ScotMoves, to ensure the system meets the needs of the beef industry and Scottish Government.

25/05/2017: ScotMoves Automatic Calf Allocation

When ScotMoves receives calf registration details from CTS, ScotMoves will automatically make an initial allocation of the calf to be on the holding along with its mother*. This is the case whether the mother is on the main holding or an additional holding.
Following ScotMoves initial allocation of a newly registered calf, when mother and her calf are moved to another holding on ScotMoves, you must also record the movement of the calf. ScotMoves does not automatically record the movement of a calf when it's mother is moved.

* If a calf is no longer with its mother when the CTS registration is made, e.g. a separated twin, on ScotMoves you must allocate the calf to its actual holding if different from its mother’s holding.

16/02/2017: ScotMoves launch and early statistics

ScotMoves was successfully launched on the 1st January with full help-desk support. Over 2,600 cattle keepers have since registered their main holdings along with the additional holdings they are using to keep cattle. Since going live, ScotMoves have recorded over 70,000 cattle movements between within-business holdings and the number of movements is currently around 10,000 per week. This number is expected to rise significantly in the spring time when cattle begin moving out of their winter accommodation. The new system is a success in terms of knowing centrally where all Scottish cattle currently are, which will aid disease control, disease eradication and public health.

28/12/2016: ScotMoves Registration

If you currently have cattle on linked holdings (or will have on the 1st January 2017) and you have not yet returned your ScotMoves Application Form, you must do so immediately. If you did not receive a form from ScotEID, please click on the link to download a form, then complete and post, fax, or scan and email back to ScotEID. ScotMoves will be available online from the 1st January to those that have registered.

ScotEID will be open on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of January 2017.

12/12/2016: BES tagging update

Tissue tagging lists are now available from on the ‘tagging’ tab on BES. If there is no tab available, then for the period 1st Jan to 1st Jun 2016, none of your calves have been selected for the genotyping tissue tags. If you require more information, please contact RPID on 0300 300 2222 or

12/12/2016: Sheep and goat Inventory and December Survey

All sheep & goat keepers should have received an Inventory or Survey either by email or in the post, please complete, as soon as possible. The best way to do this is online. The link and password are in your email or printed on your form. If you are a sheep or goat keeper but haven’t received a form, please check your emails. Otherwise please contact the Scottish Government at 0300 244 9725 (ScotEID cannot issue the emails or the forms).

More information is available at

02/12/2016: Website data protection policy and T&Cs updated
Due to increasing functionality, we are committed to regularly reviewing our Website Terms and Conditions and Data Protection Policy. Amongst other updates they now provide for ScotMoves.

26/09/2016: CTS Links Replacement Announcement by Scottish Government
Scottish Government have announced a replacement for the current CTS Links System. The new system is called ScotMoves and will be hosted here on ScotEID.
Further information

18/07/2016: Beef Efficiency Scheme calving data deadline extended
The deadline for recording the Beef Efficiency Scheme calving data has been extended deadline extended to 31 July 2016

27/05/2016: Beef Efficiency Scheme deadline extended
The deadline to apply for the Beef Efficiency Scheme has been extended from 31 May to 15 June 2016.

29/04/2016: the Beef Efficiency Scheme is now open for applications

Click here to find out more.

Apply on this website.

11/02/2016: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) to become notifiable disease from 2 March

From 2 March it will be a legal requirement for pig keepers to report any suspected cases of PED to the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre (01466 705247), who will provide advice to affected keepers. There will be no mandatory restrictions or culling if PED is suspected or confirmed. A highly pathogenic PED strain has caused significant problems in China, North America and more recently has been seen in the Ukraine, so vigilance and early reporting is essential.

For more information visit the Scottish Government website

02/09/2015: ScotEID guidance leaflet on BVD

Protecting Negative Herds, and how to achieve a negative status for Not Negative Herds.

A 2 page A5 leaflet sent out by ScotEID in August 2015. This leaflet is available and free to use in its entirety. It may be suitable for use to markets and vets for their catalogues and newsletters.

ScotEID guidance on BVD

02/09/2015: BVD Eradication Scheme Update

The latest news on the BVD Eradication Scheme from Scottish Government in presentation format.
BVD Eradication Scheme Update August 2015

05/06/2015: BVD Phase 4 official guidance

The Official BVD phase 4 guidance can be found at the links below:
Official Farmer guidance (Phase 4)
Official Vet guidance (Phase 4)

08/04/2015: Bovine EID numbering

The possible implementation of voluntary bovine EID as part of European legislation offers significant opportunities to the industry. However, the existing GB cattle numbering system is incompatible with the EID standard (ISO 11784) to be required by Europe. Therefore, there is a significant challenge in finding a cost-effective solution which will not discourage voluntary uptake of bovine EID. This paper details the problems, possible solutions and trade-offs.
Bovine EID numbering

05/03/2015: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED)

PED is a virus that causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration in pigs. A new highly pathogenic strain of the virus has spread quickly across North America and was confirmed in the Ukraine near the Polish border in December 2014. If keepers see an episode of unusual or rapidly spreading diarrhoea in pigs of any age they should contact their private vet immediately. To encourage prompt reporting test sampling kits Have been distributed, free of charge to all active pig keepers in Scotland.

If you have any further enquiries please contact Jill Thomson SAC Consulting on 0131 535 3130.

02/03/2015: ScotEID phase 4 report

The Phase 4 report describing the work done by ScotEID to record and report on 14.7m sheep moves, 3.7m pig moves and the BVD status of all of Scotland’s cattle holdings with 37k tests, is now available.
ScotEID phase 4 report

02/03/2015: ScotEID report on Coexistence of UHF & LF in hybrid tags

ScotEID report on UHF/LF transponder performance in hybrid EID tags.
Coexistence of LF and UHF in dual tags

18/02/2015: ScotEID information on Low Frequency Advanced Transponders

Technical note on the proposed updating Low Frequency (LF) Electronic IDentification (EID) by the ISO14223 standard.
ISO14223 technical note

10/02/2015: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED)

PED is a virus that causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration in pigs. A new highly pathogenic strain of the virus has spread quickly across North America and was confirmed in the Ukraine near the Polish border in December 2014. If keepers see an episode of unusual or rapidly spreading diarrhoea in pigs of any age they should contact their private vet immediately. To encourage prompt reporting test sampling kits are being distributed, free of charge to all active pig keepers in Scotland.

07/01/2015: Cattle EID FAQ
In response to various enquiries about cattle EID, a list of answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions is now available here. If you have any further queries please get in touch.
Cattle EID FAQ

10/11/2014: ScotEID guidance concerning tags in the ‘historic flock’

On the 1st January 2015 sheep with old tags (born or tagged before 1st January 2010) will be subject to a new set of rules. The rules and the options for dealing with them have been detailed in this document.
A very succinct summary of the principle recommendation is: From the 1st of January 2015 if you are moving animals from the historic flock (identified prior to 1st January 2010) to a mart/ Scottish abattoir the advice from industry is to remove the old tags and replace with a new EID pair.
Advice on the historic flock

20/05/2014: BVD database Vet access

There is now a facility on the BVD database which enables vets to have access to the testing results conducted by their vet practice. All that is required is for a vet to contact the BVD helpline on 0300 244 9823 and ask to be registered. Once registered vets will be able to correct data (animal IDs etc.) on the database.'

20/05/2014: UHF Research Update

ScotEID have published their latest update on work ongoing with cattle EID. This report provides information on ‘hybrid’ tags, which combine both an LF transponder and UHF transponder to provide real flexibility to farmers, markets and abattoirs.
Cattle EID in Scotland: A research update

14/11/2013: ScotEID Phase 4 plan

The ScotEID Phase 4 development plan outlines the current work of the ScotEID research and development team. The overall objective is to utilise applied research and development to explore the feasibility of a Scottish multi-species livestock relational database system capable of interfacing with other data systems to meet regulatory requirements for the UK Member States well as taking on board additional industry requirements.

Current work includes new software to allow farmers to record farm to farm sheep movements electronically, completion of the BVD database including systems to provide faster data transfer from CTS and laboratories, research into practical systems for cattle EID, and data sharing arrangements to provide information for fast accurate tracing in the event of a disease outbreak.

ScotEID Phase 4 plan

07/11/2013: BVD eradication phase 3

In January 2014 we will enter phase 3 of the BVD eradication scheme. This will require, along with a continuation of mandatory annual screening:

  • A ban on knowingly selling/moving cattle infected with BVDV;
  • Requiring the herd's BVD status to be declared before sale; and,
  • Restrictions on untested herds/animals

Further information on these control measures from the Scot Gov website

Anyone with any concerns should not hesitate to contact the BVD helpline / 0300 244 9823 (open from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).

19/07/13: BVD Update
Over 90 per cent of farmers have tested for BVD in the first year of mandatory testing, which is an excellent result and tremendous progress in the on-going fight against BVD.
Reminder letters have been sent by Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to farmers who have yet to test:

  • For those who have tested, please do not to worry, contact AHVLA (01292 291350) to inform that you have complied with the order and contact your testing laboratory to ensure your details have been recorded correctly on the BVD database.
  • For those who have not tested, again do not worry, please get in touch with your vet to make the necessary arrangements as soon as you can. If you do not require testing (e.g. a non-breeding herd) then please contact AHVLA (01292 291350) so your details may be updated accordingly.

For advice/guidance contact the BVD helpline / 0300 244 9823. The lines are open from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

18/06/13: BVD status lookup
The BVD status for an individual animal or holding can now be looked up on the ScotEID website. Users who have not registered with the ScotEID website will only be able to view the status of holdings/animals whilst registered users will be able to view more detailed BVD results for their registered holdings.
Further BVD information
BVD status lookup

19/04/2013: ScotEID UHF Livestock Technical Conference, Dingwall Mart, Scotland

ScotEID held an international conference on the practical use of UHF for cattle tag identification at Auchmore farm, Muir of Ord and at Dingwall market. The conference attracted speakers and visitors from around the world. A report on the conference and speakers is available on the link below. Papers presented at the conference will be e-mailed on request to

Download the report

WYSIWYG EID for cattle: a ScotEID proposal
Strathcylyde University report on UHF transponders (security etc.)

19/07/2012: Bovine UHF EID demonstration at Dingwall Mart (11th July 2012)
Demonstration to the cattle industry working group of cattle tagged with combination LF/UHF tags being read at Dingwall auction mart

14/4/2012: Initial UHF testing – work in progress update

ScotEID is undertaking initial testing of UHF equipment, and continues to develop its software systems and engage with industry and government stakeholders to ensure practical relevance of its work. The importance of transponder design and matching it to an appropriate tag design has been identified as a key technical challenge. The next stage will entail field-testing of tags and readers under commercial conditions.
Read the UHF Update

22/3/2012: Tag read rates - 2011

ScotEID have recently received the statistical analysis of EID sheep tags read during the calendar year 2011. The statistical analysis was carried out by Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland.

A total of 3,370,762 sheep were read within 228,677 batches at both markets and abattoirs acting as Critical Control Points.

The data for each individual tag type concerns batches where only these tag types were present, amounting to 2,558,330 reads. So the read rates of individual tag types are mostly of sheep during their first move through a CCP that have been recently tagged.

The average batch read rate is 94.9%. It was 95.1% in 2010. The average batch read rate is the one most important to farmers, particularly for double tagged sheep.

The read rate over all sheep is 93.5%. In 2010 the overall read rate was 93.8%. The average batch read rate is slightly higher than the overall read rate because the majority of small batches have a higher statistical read rate than the minority of large batches.

815,466 sheep with mixed tag types were read and the overall read rate of these sheep was 92.18%. Most of these sheep will have been tagged for a longer time.

This is the first year that ScotEID has been able to study the read rates of older tags i.e. those which have remained in sheep for more than one year. The indications are that read rates decrease with time by about 3% over 600 days. This would explain the lower read rate of batches with mixed tag types, and also the slightly lower overall figures from the reads of sheep that have been tagged in 2010, usually read as gimmers in 2011.

More information is available on individual tag types – read the report summary.

09/03/2012: EID Bolus study

EU regulations on the individual identification of sheep permit the use of an electronic rumen bolus plus a (black) conventional ear tag as an alternative to the pairing of an electronic and a conventional ear tag.
This note reports the findings of a short desk-study of research and market preferences relating to electronic rumen boluses in sheep, in the context of possible pressure from the European Commission to increase bolus usage in Scotland.
The study comprised a literature review, e-mail contact with a number of international researchers and government traceability bodies, plus telephone conversations with several UK abattoirs and some farmers currently using boluses in Scotland.
Read the report

08/02/2012: Small scale research on cattle EID

We are currently conducting research to understand potential future strategies towards the likely implementation of the amendment of EC regulation 1760/2000 - Establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals.  Presently there are no detailed technical specifications set out in the draft regulations concerning technologies.

Scottish stakeholders are clear that the removal of paper passports, electronic movement recording at markets and abattoirs and a high level of identity security will be essential for a future cattle EID system.

We have carried out and demonstrated preliminary work using EID technologies at Lanark Market, the beef cattle event at Balbuthie and at the Winter Fair. From the information gathered, our stakeholders have asked us to extend a small field trial.  This would, perhaps, service as a lead in to a larger working field trial.

The trial will not be focussed specifically on tags, but to understand how data systems might be designed to work in markets, abattoirs and farms related to the removal of passports.

The ScotEID pilot wishes to procure cattle tags with official numbering that, ideally, have both an LF transponder and a UHF transponder (hybrid tags).  We have already evaluated UHF inlays and can provide information regarding these to manufacturers if required.

Any tag manufacturer  interested in producing UHF tags, or UHF/LF hybrid tags for ScotEID please get in touch with ScotEID  in the first instance by e-mailing

13/01/2012: The historic flock
The derogation to record sheep with historic tags that were born or identified before 31 December 2009 on a batch basis has been extended until the end of 2014.
This means that keepers can continue to record animals from the historic flock on a batch basis, rather than recording the individual identity of each animal in the movement document.
However, an increasing number of these older sheep have EID double tags. Where animals from the historic flock have lost their tags and the keeper identifies them with EID double tags then the individual identity of these animals must be recorded in the movement document.
When a keeper moves these animals through a critical control point (CCP) the CCP will read and record the individual identity of these animals on behalf of the keeper.
For moves out with a CCP the keeper must record each individual identity of older sheep fitted with EID double tags in the movement document.
There is no requirement to record the individual identity of EID double tags in the holding register for animals from the 'historic flock', although ScotEID does this automatically when the CCP records the movement.
The keeper should record the ID of all replacement tags in the holding register within 48 hours of the replacement being applied, including tags fitted to the historic flock.
If you have any questions regarding this, please telephone the Huntly Office: 01466 794323.

11/11/2011: Sheep Inspection Advice
Any farmer unduly concerned about an inspection should contact the ScotEID help team (01466 794323) for reassurance and practical advice.

10/11/2011: Pig Keepers can now register with
In accordance with the pig Identification & Registration guidance packs, which keepers should now be receiving, pig keepers can now register with the ScotEID national movement database.
Users can register online by clicking here. Existing users can register as pig keepers by adding the details of their pig holding to their current registration details. The ScotEID help office can provide further help by email ( phone (01466 794323).

Further Pig keeper guidance

20/10/2011: ScotEID Simplified Compliance Guidance
We have produced simplified guidance concerning regulations on tagging and the holding register which can be downloaded here. The full government guidance can be found in the previous news article. Please contact the ScotEID office on 01466 794323 if you require further information or an indication of what amounts to a poor read rate
Download simplified guidance note

10/10/2011: Sheep EID and Cross Compliance - Guidance on tagging and records
All keepers should now have received government guidance on the cross compliance requirements.
Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment
Quick guide to sheep identification
EID cross compliance Q&A
ScotEID website quick guide

04/10/2011: Very early proof of concept UHF cattle portal reader
Following on from the earlier announcement regarding field testing of UHF equipment for cattle here is a video/demo of a very early proof of concept using off-the-shelf equipment.

19/09/2011: The potential of UHF systems for cattle identification
The ScotEID pilot works to identify workable and affordable electronic tagging systems to comply with European regulations on livestock traceability. The focus during Phases I & II was on Low Frequency (LF) applications for sheep which is a requirement of the regulations. Given the positive Ultra High Frequency (UHF) findings reported elsewhere, such as in the USA, and that there is regulatory flexibility over technological choices for cattle traceability, ScotEID is carrying out work to look at the practicalities of using UHF systems for cattle. Given the effort needed to integrate different hardware, software and management systems for LF it is likely that large scale testing of UHF equipment will reveal a host of unknown issues regarding both technical design and operational implementation of UHF under different conditions and in different parts of the supply-chain. This note explains the rationale for inclusion of UHF equipment alongside LF equipment in field testing of electronic tagging of cattle in Scotland.
A note on UHF tagging and ScotEID

10/08/2011: News Release "Scottish Government has been successful in negotiations with the EU"
The European Commission has commented positively on the development of ScotEID. In practical terms, Critical Control Point reads can be relied on to provide details of individual IDs in the farm record, purchasers don’t need to be concerned if there is an odd missing read, this is especially important for breeding sheep (double identified)

31/05/2011: York EMC analysis of malfunctioning tags
Over two days in December ScotEID, with the assistance of Scotbeef, conducted a study of EID tags which failed to read using the fixed reader at the abattoir. 37 EID tags were removed and sent to York EMC for analysis. Of these:

  • 12 were reported to have no electronics present (either lost or never present);
  • 19 were reported to have been missed by the abattoir reader but could be read with a hand held reader
  • 6 were reported to have electronics present but could not be read

Of the working tags it was also found that there was a significant variation in the level of transmitted signal at 132.4kHz.
Read the report

27/05/2011: ScotEID pilot phase 2 report now available
The Report on Phase II produced by SAOS is now available to read online.
This is the second report from the on-going Pilot study of electronic identification (EID) for sheep in Scotland. The pilot was commissioned by the Scottish Government Rural Directorate (Livestock Traceability Policy) to identify workable and affordable EID systems to comply with European regulations intended to improve livestock traceability specifically the EID regulation EC 21/2004 and its accompanying implementing regs EC 1505/2006, plus subsequent amendments to these. The emphasis by the pilot on working with industry has generated valuable insights into how best to work with regulatory requirements, existing practices and available technologies under commercial conditions.

26/05/2011: Press speculation on the requirement for 100% accuracy in sheep ID recording
We are aware that current press speculation has caused much consternation for many Scottish sheep farmers. In order to clarify this point the Scottish Government's current position is as follows:

  • This was the first formal meeting so it is still early in the process. We continue to engage constructively with the Commission to ensure that the rules are suitable to Scottish circumstances.
  • Scotland has the benefit of an outstanding database, ScotEID, which provides for excellent real-time traceability and identification. The Scot EID database has been designed to allow full compliance with EC regulation 21/2004. The system is unique and sets a high standard among other member states in this respect.
  • The Commission have visited Scotland several times and have always given positive feedback regarding our systems for traceability and identification.

Our view:
The alleged DG Agri requirement for 100% reading would be very difficult, if not impossible, for Scottish farmers and others in the sheep supply chain to deal with. However, ScotEID is confident that its data transfer systems and fully relational database, which is designed specifically in accordance with EC 21/2004 regulation and its technical guidelines, can provide 100% traceability.
ScotEID have a continuous improvement and monitoring programme working with Critical control Points which is designed to maintain and improve both the speed and accuracy of tracing.
We are of the view that a contrary focus on achieving 100% read rates will wholly compromise the accuracy and speed of traceability by undermining the principles that lie behind 21/2004 and its technical guidelines. The result would be a reversion to paper recording which the Commission knows to be inaccurate and slow.
Working to maintain 100% traceability through the automated reading/recording systems and the relational database, designed and installed by ScotEID, will allow the sheep industry to build confidence, improve the systems (tag quality, tag retention etc) over time and reduce the compliance issues on the industry – which we believe is the desire of the Commission.
Our feedback from the Scottish industry confirms that it fully understands and acknowledges the need for accurate and fast traceability and is willing to be fully engaged with maintaining and improving the systems that achieve this. The same is not true for 100% ID recording.
ScotEID’s confidence that we can achieve 100% traceability moves a significant level of responsibility and burden of compliance from sheep farmers to the ScotEID systems which have a developed framework for this.

07/04/2011: Non reads within batches at Critical Control Points
ScotEID research has confirmed that it is not possible to identify every EID tag within every batch of sheep either by using fast race readers, stick readers or to always correctly identify visually.
ScotEID also demonstrates that accurate traceability is maintained by its central database which directly relates EID with other batch movement information including: number of animals within the batch, date of movement and relevant CPH’s. In other words, each individual ID only augments the total amount of movement information.
There is no requirement for flock register reconciliation on an individual ID basis, simply that the expected number of sheep on a holding at any one time reconciles with total movements off and on farm, lambs born or marked, and deaths.
Given various technical and physical limitations of EID technology, but coupled with a fully relational database, ScotEID is confident that non reads within any batch does not compromise traceability or compromise compliance with regulations.

28/03/2011: Website tweaks
The holding register has been redesigned and movements can now be visually/manually recorded. Recorded movements can now be accessed from the 'Holding register' page in the navigation menu on the left (only available after logging in). Please see the help page if you have trouble with this feature. The help page for visually recording tags will follow shortly.
A few small changes have been made to improve navigation. The more important pages are now accessible by a single click on the navigation bar.

06/01/2011: Updated Terms & Conditions of use
The terms & conditions of use have been updated for the operational system.

03/12/2010: Pilot Progress
The pilot has made great progress during this past year and read almost 2 million tags through 60 critical control points around Scotland. This has provided excellent evidence to help further develop the systems to deal with the new regulations and concentrate on how we can reduce bureaucracy.

09/11/2010: Additional Funding

"Alex Salmond announced a further £1 million funding for the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) to extend the Scottish EID research pilot, during a visit to Balbuthie Farm in Leven.

The Scottish Government, working in partnership with industry, has produced a simplified system to electronically identify all animals – a move which will help reduce bureaucracy and keep trade efficient."

Read the full Scottish Government Press Release

Tag Welfare/Performance/Quality Issues

If you have complaints about your tags or have experienced welfare issues it is very important that you complete and return the complaints/welfare form that you should have received with your tags. If your tag supplier did not include this form please contact them to request a form or download a copy. The data from these forms is important for gathering evidence and identifying problems.

Important Guidance Information for keepers
The Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary's Announcement of 27th January 2010
The Scottish Government Guidance Notes
The ScotEID Research Pilot Team's Summary of Guidance Notes