The Ministry of Agriculture’s exercise to tag ears of 2.5 cattle across the country is scheduled to start at the end of May.
Geoffrey Pheko, the Principal Public Relations Officer in the ministry, said that it was initially scheduled to start in January but had to be postponed as the ear tags had not yet been delivered from Switzerland’s Datamars SA Company, which won the P7 million tender for the ear tags.
Pheko said the exercise will cover all districts in the country with the exception of Kasane and Ngamiland, which are currently not selling beef to the European Union, which demands proper cattle identification.
He added that the exercise will be in two phases.
The first phase, which will be carried out by veterinary officers will be transition from bolus to ear tags, linking ear tag numbers to bolus in the animal. The second phase, which will be carried out by farmers, will be ear tagging using combo tags; that is:
analogue on right ear and digital on left ear.
He said all these will be sold in livestock advisory centers around the country. Veterinary officers will be available to assist farmers where possible.
The decision to change from inserting cattle with bolus to ear tags followed after complaints from farmers that the system of bolus was not working well as veterinary officers, who were supposed to help insert them, were always not available to do the job.