Tags are essential to identify stock on a livestock farm but not all tags are legal. Dewlap tags, which are inserted through the dewlap of cattle, are legally classed as a mutilation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). Using the dewlap tag is therefore illegal and if farms are found to be using these tags at an RPA or APHA inspection it will be considered a rectifiable breach and will incur a penalty.
If dewlap tags are being used on farm, in order to comply with the law the tags must be removed. When the tags are removed, the farmer has to ensure measures are in place to avoid unnecessary suffering and also avoid any infection which may occur upon removal. Farmers removing dewlap tags are advised to seek veterinary advice and treatment as appropriate.