The European Commission is pressuring EU Member States to set up effective tracking and identification procedures for sheep and goat livestock, formally tabling a uniform pan-European set of rules.

It wants the EU Council of Ministers to approve them as an EU Regulation, which national governments must implement to the letter, contrasting with directives, where they have more leeway. Brussels considers the implementation of an existing directive on monitoring sheep and goat movements to be weak, especially considering last year’s foot and mouth crisis.
The Regulation would create national rules establishing tags or marks, allowing animals to be identified individually, updated registers on each holding and movement documents, with a central computerised database coordinating the data.