Sheep (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB5162)

Management: Marking


  1. Permanent marking of sheep by, for example, ear tattooing or tagging, should be carried out only by a skilled stockman using properly maintained instruments. Ear tags should be suitable for use in sheep. Wherever possible, marking should not be undertaken during the fly season. If marking does have to be carried out during the fly season, farmers should take measures which will prevent or reduce the threat of fly strike. Where, for flock management purposes, ear marking is by notching or punching, this should be done using proprietary equipment. lf horned breeds of sheep are to be marked for flock management purposes, horn branding is to be preferred.
  2. Aerosols or paints used for temporary marking should be non-toxic.
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