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Technical Support

Guidance on ear tag application, completing birth registration forms and submitting tissue samples to a registered laboratory.

  • Tags should be fitted within 7 days of calving
  • The Datamars Universal Applicator is designed to work with all Visual and EID Alpha cattle tags
  • Both parts of the ear tag must display the same number for each animal
  • Apply the tag into the centre of the ear between the two veins
  • Electronic tags should be inserted in the right ear for Auto-ID purposes
  • Tissue tags should be inserted in the left ear
  1. Tissue tags should be inserted in the left ear
  2. Do not apply tissue tags to new born calves until they are completely dry
  3. Detach the female part from the male part (picture 1)
  4. Place the male part with the barcode onto the tagger pin (picture 2)
  5. Check the numbers are the same on all parts
  6. Fold and press the sample container on the female tag part
  7. Press the clip and insert the female part firmly into the jaw (picture 3)
  8. Fix the tab of the sample container to the nipple at the bottom of the tagger (picture 4)
  9. Ensure that the part of the ear to be tagged is clean and dry
  10. Place the tagger to the centre of the ear between the two veins with the barcode at the back. Close the tagger firmly until the tag locks into place
  11. Release the applicator handles and firmly pull back the applicator from the ear. In doing so the sample container is released from the eartag and remains on the pliers (picture 5)
  12. The tissue sample is punched and automatically sealed inside the sample container (picture 6)
  13. The sample can be stored without refrigeration before sending to your laboratory for testing

Please note:

  • Be careful with the male tag, avoid any unnecessary force on the predetermined breaking point while handling and storing the tag (picture 1)
  • Make sure your tagger is in good working order (picture 2)
  • Do not use if the applicator pin is broken or bent (picture 3)
  1. Electronic tags should be inserted in the right ear
  2. Place the male part with the barcode onto the tagger pin (picture 1)
  3. Check the numbers are the same on both parts
  4. Press the clip and insert the visual or electronic female part firmly into the jaw (picture 2)
  5. Place the tagger to the centre of the ear between the two veins with the barcode at the back
  6. Close the tagger firmly until the tag locks into place and then release

Please note:

  • Be careful with the male tag, avoid any unnecessary force on the predetermined breaking point while handling and storing the tag (picture 1)
  • Make sure your tagger is in good working order (picture 2)
  • Do not use if the applicator pin is broken or bent (picture 3)
  1. Samples should be sent to the lab within 7 days of tagging
  2. Place samples inside a sealed plastic bag
  3. Label the bag with your Herd Number and the number of samples being submitted
  4. Place the sealed bag inside a sturdy envelope addressed to your chosen laboratory

Use the map below to locate a laboratory to process tissue samples:

The keeper of the herd in which the animal was born should complete the Animal Birth Registration Form or Animal Events Sheet (but not both) when the animal is tagged. Ensure that the tag number on the form matches exactly that on the animal’s plastic tag. Registration must be completed and returned within 7 days of tagging.

The following details must be completed:

Sex of animal: tick the appropriate box to indicate whether the calf is male or female

Date of birth of animal: indicate by using numerals for day-month-year in full e.g. 17-03-2017

Breed of Dam: this field has been dropped – the dam breed will be taken from existing registration details on the database

Breed of sire: enter a 2 or 3 letter code from the official list of breed codes below

In the case of crossbred sire, add an “X” to the code

Example: Charolais =CH     Charolais Cross=CHX

Dam’s tag number: enter the official tag number of the dam in full. In the case of embryo transfer, enter the official tag numbers of both the surrogate dam and the genetic dam, indicating each one clearly

Still born calf: tick box only if calf is stillborn

Signature and date: ensure registration is signed and dated

Breeder list:

Angus AA
Angler AN
Aubrac AU
Ayrshire AY
Bazadais BZ
Belgian Blue Bison BB
Blonde BI
D’Aquitaine BA
Brown Swiss BS
Charolais CH
Chianina CI
Danish Red RD
Dexter DX
Droimeann IM
Galloway GA
Guernsey GU
Hereford HE
Highland HI
Holstein/Friesian FR
Irish Maol IM
Jersey JE
Kerry KE
Limousin LM
Maine Anjou MA
Marchigiana MH
Montebelliarde MO
Mri/Mry MY
Murray Grey GS
Normande NO
Norwegian Red NR
Parthenaise PT
Piedmontese PI
Romagnola RM
Rotbunte RB
Salers SA
Shorthorn SH
Simmental SI
South Devon SD
Swedish Red SR
Waygu WA

For breeds other than those on the above list, please contact your local DVO for the breed code or go to www.agriculture.gov.ie

For more technical help and support

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