Keeping farmed animals – guidance

Get new or replacement official ear tags for cattle

Cattle keepers can only buy new or replacement official ear tags for cattle, bison or buffalo from registered suppliers.

You’ll need a stock of official ear tags to use when calves are born on your holding, and if a tag is lost or the number can no longer be read you’ll need to get a replacement.

You can only buy official ear tags from suppliers registered with the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

Order a new batch of tags

When you request a batch of official tags, the supplier will need to know your herd mark and County Parish Holding (CPH) number. They will use this to get the run of individual unique animal numbers for your tags from BCMS’s Ear Tag Allocation System database. The supplier will send the printed tags direct to you.

You should not apply for more ear tags than you will use in one year. Unused ear tags must be kept securely.

Get replacements for lost tags

If you do need to replace an illegible or lost tag, contact any supplier of approved tags to order a replacement.

Always use the correct applicator for the type of tag you are using and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Give feedback about ear tags

BCMS monitors, and may act on, feedback from cattle keepers about official ear tags. You can download a feedback form (PDF, 327KB, 2 pages) or get one from your supplier.

Welsh language version of this page