Exporting or moving GB livestock to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

How your livestock intended for EU export need to be identified from 2021

From 1 January 2021 the UK will trade with the EU as a third country.

New rules for entry into the EU of certain animals and products from third countries including livestock will apply in 2021. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the same requirements will apply for these live animal movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

This means that we will have to use a two-letter ISO1 country code ‘GB’ to identify livestock exported to EU Member States or moved to Northern Ireland.

The UK currently uses the identifier ‘UK’ in accordance with EU rules for Member States. From 2021, we will need to include a visual identifier which displays GB for animals intended for exported or moved to the EU or moved to Northern Ireland.

The following paragraphs explain the export tagging options for different species and would also apply when tagging animals for movement to Northern Ireland.

This guidance can be found on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exporting-animals-and-animal-products-to-the-eu-from-1-january-2021

What do I need to do if I want to export or move livestock to the EU or Northern Ireland from 2021?

For sheep: their identification must now display the GB country code – the options for doing this vary as follows:

Where sheep are already double tagged
You should apply an additional (management) tag which displays GB and the animal’s existing individual ID number. This tag should not be red or yellow.

A replacement tag pair displaying the GB suffix can also be applied where animals not intended for export which have already been identified with a UK tag pair have lost one or both of those tags.

If the replacement pair is applied off the holding of birth that pair must be red tags.


Lambs identified with the single slaughter tag that are to be exported to the EU

You can apply a pair of UK tags (one of which must be electronic) which also display a GB suffix. These animals will not need an additional management tag given these tags contain the visual GB code.

For slaughter lambs because the new tags replace an existing identifier, they should both be red2 tags.
2 In GB red is a visual indicator that a sheep or a goat’s identification has changed after it left its birth holding.

For Goats: The same rules apply for goats going for export as apply to sheep.

For cattle: their identification must now display the GB country code – the options for doing this vary as follows.

Where cattle are already identified with a UK tag pair.
Cattle are currently double tagged with a pair of ear tags which bear the country code UK and the animal’s individual ID number. One of these tags is a secondary tag where additional information can be added.

You should apply an additional (management) tag which displays GB plus the animal’s existing individual ID number.
Replacement tags with the GB suffix can also be applied where animals which have already been registered and not intended for export have lost a secondary tag.

You can use any type of plastic tag (e.g. flag tag, button tag) for the additional management tag, but it should be easily read from a distance.

Where calves are to be identified for the first time

You can apply a pair of ‘UK’ tags which also display a GB suffix on the secondary tag. These animals will not need an additional management tag given these tags contain the visual GB code.

Cattle will no longer need to be accompanied by their passport on export to the EU. You will need to return the passports to BCMS within 7 days of export.

If you are exporting cattle for slaughter, they also need to be freeze-branded on the hind quarters with an L mark.

For pigs:

The identification must include the ‘GB’ code.

For export pigs are required to be identified with an ear tag or ear tattoo bearing the letters UK plus the animal’s herd mark and an individual number.

From 2021, for export or movement to the EU you can apply an ear tag or tattoo which reads UK followed by the animal’s herd mark, an individual number and a ‘GB’ suffix.

Where do I get these tags?

Your regular ear tag supplier will be able to provide these tags.

You must tell them that they are for animals intended for export or movement to the EU or Northern Ireland and you should explain whether you need these tags for previously identified animals, or for as yet unidentified animals.

Your supplier will print the tags and deliver them to you in the usual way.

You should record their application in your holding register (new ID or replacement ID sections – where required). The animal can then be moved for export as normal.

You should allow 3-6 days for your tag supplier to produce and deliver your tags.

What about exports and movements from Northern Ireland to the EU and GB?

Movements of livestock from Northern Ireland to Great Britain from 2021 can be identified the same way as they are now using a UK tag.

For exports from Northern Ireland to the EU, you will need to contact DAERA.

Dalton Design a Tag Competition

To download your entry form click here.

Dalton Tags Spring/Summer Newsletter 2020

To read the Spring/Summer version of our newsletter and keep up to date with Dalton Tags news click here.

A Flexo solution for local retailer

We were tasked by a local retailer to print some keyring tags that can be used by staff for accessing their point of sale system.


Previously they had used plastic credit cards but these were often lost and after a few weeks of use, the laminated layer would peel back and eventually the barcode images degraded so badly it rendered the cards useless.


The client had heard about our super strong Flexo Tags and was impressed by the non-fade laser marking technology we offer.


They opted for large Flexo Management Tags with a keyring and lanyard added.  The unique barcode was emailed to us and we were able to replicate it perfectly on the tag and also assign a visual user ID to each of the tags.


The uses for our tags seem truly endless!

If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them (don’t worry contact details below!)… maybe you can hire DALTON TAGS!


A new team member has joined the ranks at Dalton HQ

A new team member has joined the ranks at Dalton HQ. Teddy Dalton is a one year old Pygmy Goat and is quite possibly the cutest thing we have ever seen!
Unfortunately, Teddy’s previous owners had a change in circumstances and could no longer keep him. Step in the Dalton Tags Team who immediately got in contact with Teddy’s owners to adopt him. Our team member (and local farmer) Daisy volunteered to take him home to her busy farm.
Daisy picked up Teddy last weekend and he immediately made himself at home and a nuisance by stealing and quickly devouring Daisy’s mum’s mothers day flowers (bad Teddy!!)
He has also shown he has green fingers (or should that be hooves?!) by helping himself to chives and strawberry plants growing in the vegetable plot (bad Teddy!!)
Teddy has already struck up a great friendship with Betsy the cow (who he sleeps next to) and farm dogs Meg & Baxter.
A lively little character full of mischief and fun!
Keep an eye on our social media to receive updates on the adventures of our new Mascot Teddy Dalton!


Increased Business Means Expansion For Dalton Tags.

The quality, service and wide range of livestock and business management tags manufactured by Dalton Tags has necessitated a move to larger, purpose built premises.

The new premises, which are just two minutes drive from the busy A1/A46  at Northern Road, Newark provide 2,500 sq ft of business space, which includes a dedicated production room with laser engraving machines, to improve efficiency and increase production.

In farming circles, Dalton Tags are probably best known for their livestock identification tags for cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, but they have now expanded the range to include DNA test tags for pedigree breeders and state of the art ‘EID’ electronic tags. The range also includes identification tags for  crops, research centres and exotic animals in addition to tags to assist with inventory and management purposes.


The increased demand in the livestock sector has been attributed to the durability and design of the tags which boast a 99% retention rate. Using the immense experience and knowledge gathered by their sister company, Countryside Services, in Northern Ireland in the BVD eradication scheme, Dalton tags is at the forefront of BVD eradication.


Speaking at the launch of the new premises, Managing Director Ian McNeice, Countryside Services said “We are delighted to witness the progress  of our associated company and to realise that their success and expansion mirrors the progress that we have enjoyed in Northern Ireland. The tags win customer support due to their simplicity of use, durability and the customer service provided. But above all the major factor is the retention rate of 99 percent. No one wants to have the extra workload and expense of segregating livestock to re-tag them.”


He added ““The growth of Dalton Tags over the past two years has been nothing short of exceptional.  A dedicated and skilled team have put the customer at the centre of everything they do and that commitment to customer satisfaction is clear for everyone to see.”


The official opening of the new premises was carried out by local East Midlands auctioneer, Tim Webster who has over 25 years of experience in livestock and agricultural matters. He wished Dalton continued success with their fantastic range of livestock and management tags. 


The dedicated customer care centre  at Newark has a full time production team that is flexible and can adapt to demands eg. due to the much higher demand  for livestock tags in spring they can print 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Replacement tag printing is carried out on site, and also by selected merchant stores via state of the art laser engraving software


Online activity or hits to the website have grown year on year by over eighteen thousand visitors showing the trend for online tag sales. The website has a full product range, accepts all payment methods such as visa, MasterCard and PayPal. Order any time of day and receive tags securely packaged and tracked to your business or farm. Replacement tags dispatched same day for next day delivery if ordered by 4 pm.

Dalton Tags also have a vast range of agricultural merchants and veterinary practices who supply their customers with the extensive range of animal ID tags.

The business has expanded to include industrial tags (for marking cables, labelling machinery and assets); vineyard tags (to mark the variety of grapes being grown, especially popular with domestic British sparkling wines), and research and animal conservation tags. 

General Manager of the new store, Diane D’bouk commented  “We have just sold tags to The University of Oxford for Marsh Crocodiles in Nepal and we have also sold tags for seals in New York Harbour. Dalton Tags is the company of choice for leading national and international research institutes. Identification and tracking for non-agricultural animals is used in a host of conservation and educational programmes. Sharks, seals, rays, arctic foxes and turtles have all been successfully identified using our quality products.”

She added “Dalton Tags offer an aquaculture tagging solution for major commercial fisheries. We can supply individual fish and box tagging to allow complete traceability through markets, distributors etc.

“Arable farmers and horticulturalists utilise visual tagging to determine varieties they produce for planting patterns in fields, vineyards and orchard locations as well as box tags for traceability and tracking through processing plants or cold store facilities.”

Non-animal tag utilisation includes ID tags for inventory and warehouse management, pallet tagging, asset tracking and identification stock tags which is all possible with both visual and EID tag options. EID tags hold transponders which use RFID technology. Pre-printed identification tags with individual details, logos and barcodes can be supplied as well as blank visual tags which can have details added with Dalton Easy Mark permanent marker pens.

Dalton Tags work alongside a range of couriers who can deliver across the globe.

Placing an order for livestock ID tags could not be simpler. Order through the online shop 24/7, email to sales@daltontags.co.uk or if you prefer to speak to one of the team call  01636 700990, 8.30am – 5.30pm. Alternatively, text an order/photo straight from the field or market to 07525 275987.

A day at Dalton Tags is always different.

Dalton Tags helps identify strays in Santorini, Greece.

Bruce Fogle, Principal Veterinarian of the London Veterinary Clinic and prolific TV personality, sent a request to Dalton Tags for a special mission on the Greek isle of Santorini. Abandoned animals on the isle is an ongoing issue for the residents and the Satorini Animal Welfare Association, which advocates for the rights of animals and helps neuter, deworm and give vaccinations to strays in Santorini. SAWA currently houses around 100 dogs, 13 donkeys, 20 cats and two pigs. But there are far more animals on the streets living as strays without a food source or home. SAWA works in cooperation with the municipality of Thira to try to rehome the animals off the isle and insure that all the stray animals are neutered and spayed, vaccinated and treated in case of injury,disease or poisoning.

Santorini’s stray animal population mirrors that of Greece as a whole. the Greek Reporter wrote in an October 2018 article that stray dogs are part of an unbroken image not just of Athens, but of most Greek cities due to the financial crisis of 2008

“Countless Greek families left their pets on the streets as they couldn’t afford their care anymore,” The Greek Reporter wrote. “This, combined with the lack of education and funding by the Greek authorities has left thousands of animals without sterilization, resulting in an increasing number of dogs and cats living on the streets.”

The Greek Reporter stated that according to Greek animal charities, more than one million stray dogs and cats are living on Greek streets.

“Most of them are friendly but the inhumane conditions under which they’re forced to live, especially during the hot summer days and cold winter nights, might make them aggressive, considering the lack of food and attacks most of them experience on a daily basis,” the Greek Reporter wrote.

In December, Fogle helped sterilse abandoned dogs there and needed a way to keep track of the animal. He wanted to help mitigate the issue by importing some animals back to London to find homes. Fogle said he and veterinarian surgeon Jo Jerjis sterilised and ID tagged around 200 dogs on this trip.

“The municipal authority has been unable to maintain a tag register which is, of course, central for managing statistics,” Fogle said. “So tagging elsewhere in Greece is on hold. In the meantime however, the tags indicate both to locals and to tourists that these dogs ‘are known to the authorities.’”

Fogle said Daltons Tags were perfect for helping register the animals on the isle.

Many of the abandoned dogs we sterilised are purebreds that would be easy to rehome in the UK, Fogle said.

“For example this Golden Retriever (with a healing bite wound to his hind leg) had a delightful personality,” he said. “I did select three of the smallest dogs, arranged kennelling, rabies vaccination and more, on Santorini and eventually brought them to the UK and rehomed them here.”

According to Fogle, to import the animals it cost around £600 per dog. With the dogs he brought back, Fogle was able to remove the tags — in which the holes heal very quickly — to find them forever homes.

Fogle and Jerjis met many animals on the isle they blood tested and are free of Mediterranean diseases.

Most of the dogs there are between 10-16 kg and under two years old.

Anyone interested in giving any of these dogs a home should contact the London Veterinary Clinic. Getting them here is expensive, but Jo and Bruce say they are excellent with people.

Nottinghamshire tag company helps track endangered crocodiles

Dalton Tags, an animal ID and tag producer out of Newark Nottinghamshire, regularly gets requests to make tags for cattle, sheep and goats.

Recently, the company received an unusual request from the Zoology Department out of the University of Oxford.

They wanted tags for crocodiles — and an extremely rare one at that.

The Gavialis gangeticus or Gharial, a species of crocodile on the critically endangered species list, resides in inland freshwaters and wetlands of Nepal and parts of India. The gharial is one of the largest species of crocodiles in the world, measuring up to 5-6 meters long. The species possesses a particularly unique long and slender snout with up to 110 razor-sharp teeth.

Unfortunately, the gharial was the first species of crocodilian to be labeled critically endangered with less than 182 known crocodiles left in 2006.

Currently, the biggest threat to the gharial is habitat loss due to people clearing wetland areas for firewood or farmland. People also take the crocodile’s eggs for medicinal purposes and kill male gharial for there snout as it is believed that part of it is an aphrodisiac. The gharial also face issues with fishing as they get caught in gil nets and die trying to get out. In 2007, the species faced another hardship as gout wiped out more than 110 crocodiles.

To help increase the species chance of survival, many conservation efforts have been in effect in recent years. A group called the Gharial Multi-Task Force, regional and international crocodilian specialists, are researching and trying to keep this species from going extinct. To help study endangered animals, conservationist need to collect data.

The Zoology Department at Oxford University wanted to tag the endangered crocodile species. The goal of tagging the crocodiles is to study and collect spatial and reproductive ecology data inform ongoing conservation efforts on the species, according to Phoebe Griffith, who is researching the Gavialis gangeticus. Griffith researches the species through Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, WildCRU and Zoological Society London’s Institute of Zoology. Griffith and the research teams work to conduct research on the population of the endangered species with a catch-and-release tagging method.

In Griffith’s research profile, she notes that she is working with the Zoological Society London to conduct a study on the ecology of gharial in the Rapti and Narayani rivers in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

“In particular, we aim to conduct post-release monitoring of gharial that are captive-reared as part of the National Park’s ongoing conservation efforts for the species, and compare this to ecological data we are collecting on free-living gharial,” Griffith wrote. “Using telemetry, observational data, camera trapping and local ecological knowledge we aim to build a strong evidence base for future work in Nepal to conserve this Critically Endangered species.”

General Manager Diane D’bouk said that “Dalton tags are regarded as the best in the market and are extremely strong, and that’s why the University of Oxford chose our Flexo Tags for this purpose.“

“The tags are applied once a hole has been drilled into the tail scutes,” Diane said. “The scutes are extremely tough and almost impossible to penetrate hence the need for a hole to be drilled first!”

During the university’s research, the team tagged five of the gharial with plans to capture at least 15 more throughout the next week. Dalton Tags has been chosen for other conservation efforts, including tagging sharks, seals, Artic foxes and turtles.

Diane said “Dalton Tag’s Flexo tags were ordered with a sequential number format so every tag has a unique number. Now all of the crocodiles have their very own number and can be tracked and monitored”


A history of Livestock ID Tags

From the beginning of the domestication of livestock, humans have sought to mark what is theirs.  It makes sense: proving ownership, while it may seem somewhat archaic in modern times, was an important part of keeping track of any herd.  The human motivations to identify and trace livestock throughout history have really not drastically changed but the technology has. Animal identification has included branding, collars, tattooing and ear notching; all means to mark ownership, identify lineage, and trace and monitor disease.

The earliest documented event of animal identification purportedly dates to 1275 when the Brit, Thomas of Walsingham, related his investigation of a certain sheep disease that plagued British sheep for a quarter century. The disease vector was, at that time, pinpointed to a single sheep import from France.  While the circumstances surrounding use of identification is unclear, what is clear is that disease has always driven humans to monitor livestock in some fashion.

In 1799, Sir Joseph Banks created the first known modern ear tag, made of tin, as a means of identification for the Merino flock of sheep owned by King George III.  Since that time, modifications and improvements of the ear tag have followed the needs of farming industry. Cost, loss, efficiency, theft have been considered as new technologies have become available.  Shortly after WWII, steel and nickel were quickly replaced with plastic, a fairly new, lightweight, sanitary, weather resistant material for the times. Quickly, and often due to governmental oversight in countries that were requiring traceability, the ear tag was modified and perfected.  In 1953, the first self-piercing ear tags appeared on the market and provided an efficient and blood free way of identifying livestock, thus ensuring less transfer of disease. Across the globe, modern governmental eradication requirements for tuberculosis, brucellosis, scrapies and pseudorabies have mandated ear tagging with specific requirements for the tags.  BSE outbreaks in the UK, then in the USA, saw the expansion of Electronic Identification ear tags or EID. Further, RFID ear tags, allow for easy identification for all pertinent information of an individual animal as radio frequency transmits data right from the animal to computer-based software. They offer a unique and truly innovative approach to management whether that concerns feed rations based on a number of factors such as age, lactation, gestation, etc., as well as all important disease monitoring, pedigree notation, medical treatment records and individual performance data.  Modern ear tags also serve as insect repellent tools and more interestingly as means for actual tissue capture for laboratory testing, such as the Dalton BVD Tag & Test range.

All breed registries require permanent identification for recorded animals in order to maintain the integrity of parentage.  The advancement of animal genetic coding has driven producers to see the benefit of DNA testing which not only proves lineage but can be used in a smart and educated breeding program.  Today’s producers are able to strategically design breeding programs based on genetics in order to choose for production, body type, udder shape, casein content, birth weight and a whole host of other genetic factors.  And of course, the ear tag industry has modified its products to meet those needs. The Dalton Tissue Sampling ear tag was created with the breeder in mind. DNA collection is integrated into its design and allows for an efficient and cost-effective capture of genetic material for intelligent breeding decisions.  The future of ear tag innovation is only limited by the creativity of enterprises like Dalton Tags who understand the needs of its clients.


Easter Prize Draw in aid of Asthma UK

We are running an Easter Prize Draw in aid of Asthma UK. Two yummy prizes up for grabs and only £1 to enter. Call into our premises to enter!