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Email received Dec 20th 2007

Dear Mary

My sheep have been scrapie tested and are fitted with an Electronic Bolus. This was done under the National Scrapie Plan. Defra started this just after FMD and it was supposed to be that once Rare Breed sheep were fitted with these Bolus things they would then do the commercial flocks - but like everything else this has not taken place.

I wonder if you could find out the following question for me please; with talk of electronic tagging does this mean we who have our sheep scrapie tested and have a cetificate with ID numbers of each sheep that shows up on a hand scanner (Defra already have ) in such cases we should not have to have to electronic tag as well should we?

I am thinking of asking my vet how much it would cost to micro chip my flock as I am fed up with the tagging changes. I have boxes of useless tags and many of my sheep have lost so many from ears I now refuse to put anymore tags in. I would also point out with new tags it is asking flies to attack sheep as soon as they smell blood which does happen. I always used antiseptic spray but I doubt very much that the commercial farmer will spend even more money buying loads of cans of spray for every ear they tag.

Mary I think ear tags in any animal can only be a danger in attracting all sorts of flies and midges in warm weather.

I remember when I took my Ram to the Royal Highland Show 3 years ago and he had to be double tagged for the movement to the show his poor ear was all swollen and I had to borrow some clippers at the show and cut the offending tag off.

ZAnyway I would be interested to hear if you can find any thing out about Elec, tagging with sheep that already are fitted with Elec, Bolus

Best Wishes Moira