DAERA must rethink transition period to XI tags, says UFU

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the transition period for the new XI tags is not substantial. DAERA has confirmed that the launch of the new tags will commence on 24 June 2024 with the final switchover date to occur in January 2025. However, this does not give farmers enough time to use existing stocks of UK tags.

UFU deputy president Glenn Cuddy said, “DAERA have stated that from 24 June 2024, XI tags will become available to purchase and can be used immediately. Until the New Year, livestock keepers can continue to use the UK tags. But this will not benefit farmers who have already bought UK tags and spring calf from January to May. They cannot simply change calving dates to suit DAERA’s tag transition.

“From the outset, the UFU urged DAERA to manage this change with caution, stressing that our farmers need sufficient time that would work alongside the farming calendar causing minimal disruption, and that clear communication to notify farmers would be essential. At this late stage, DAERA are only now advising farmers not to order large quantities of UK tags that cannot be used from January 2025.

“DAERA must allow a longer period to enable farmers to use up existing tags otherwise it will be a significant financial loss for their farm businesses. There has been an ongoing distinct lack of engagement with farmers on this matter and DAERA must rethink their January 2025 deadline urgently.”