Livestock Policy Manager's Blog - 22 January 2020

This year we expect to see Scottish cattle movement recording move from BCMS CTS Online to ScotEID, with the hope that the change will be seamless, and result in a single provider of the movement systems for official business to business cattle movements as well as ScotMoves.

There is no firm date, as of yet, for the changeover but it is expected to happen at some point this year.  ScotEID are currently undertaking a roadshow across the country to highlight the upcoming change and discuss how this transition will lay the road ahead to mandatory electronic identification (EID).

Proposals for official EID have not been consulted on yet by the Scottish Government but NFU Scotland has been facilitating industry discussions on EID for some time, successfully gaining funding for ScotEID from the Scottish Government for the ongoing pilot of ultra-high frequency (UHF) EID tags, which have the cattle ID encoded on the chip, rather than requiring a ‘tag bucket’ as is the case with contemporary EID management tags.  This has been a result of collaboration between NFU Scotland, the Scottish Beef Association, the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, the Institute of Auctioneers & Appraisers in Scotland, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers and government agencies.

Last year NFU Scotland and ScotEID invited all other relevant stakeholders to witness a demonstration of the EID pilot tags in action at Thainstone Mart, courtesy of Aberdeen and Northern Marts, and witnessed the read range of UHF, which can allow for batch reading in marts.

We expect a full consultation from Scottish Government on proposals for a mandatory introduction of cattle EID, with the NFU Scotland Livestock Committee to lead on decision making on this, by listening to branches and our valuable livestock monitor network.

The journey to full EID across the whole Scottish cattle herd will take time, and require technological and policy development, but the desire is for a simplification of movements, including the eventual end of paper passports, and opportunities for better data utilisation, for disease surveillance, efficiency gains and more.

The upcoming dates for the ScotEID roadshow are:


  • 22 January – Kinross, THE GREEN HOTEL, 7 pm
  • 23 January – Finavon, FINAVON HOTEL, 12 noon
  • 23 January – Coupar Angus, THE RED HOUSE HOTEL, 7pm


  • 4 February – Lanark, LANARK MART, 12 noon
  • 5 February – Mull, An Roth Community Centre Meeting Room, 12 noon
  • 10 February – Oban, COLUMBIA HOTEL, 7pm
  • 11 February - Fort William, BEN NEVIS HOTEL, 12 noon 
  • 24 February – Stornoway, CABERFEIDH HOTEL, 7pm
  • 25 February – Portree, THE PORTREE HOTEL, 7pm
  • 26 February – Benbecula, DARK ISLAND HOTEL, 7pm


  • 4 March – Campbeltown, ARGYLL ARMS HOTEL, 12 noon
  • 5 March – Islay, THE MACHRIE HOTEL, 11am
  • 11 March – Arran, AUCHRANNIE RESORT, 7pm
  • 12 March – Bute, THE GLENBURN HOTEL, 7pm

NFU Scotland will share more information on changes to cattle traceability in Scotland as and when it become available.

Author: John Armour

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About The Author

John Armour

John is responsible for NFU Scotland’s livestock Policy. Serving the needs of the NFU Scotland Livestock Committee he works to ensure that the objectives of the Union are delivered in order to support beef and sheep farmers in Scotland. After growing up on a dairy farm John studied International Politics at University and went on to join the NFU Scotland Policy Team in 2014. He has previously worked on both food and milk policy within the Union.

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