Cattle, other livestock to undergo registration, identification process


The Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries has collaborated with the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) to register goats, sheep, cows, oxen and camels in the next year so that they can be identified properly.
Identity cards will be given out with birth dates and breed types. Doing this is expected to help Ethiopia comply with international standards so it can better compete internationally. It will also provide statistical information on things like births, deaths, and vaccinations. Having better data should improve control of major animal diseases, make breeding programs more efficient, and reduce the incidence of cattle theft and increase cattle meat exports.
The National Insemination Center (NIC), which was established recently is expected to carry out the registration by having cattle herders and others raising cattle go to the center to register their animals. This includes new born cattle as well.
As of yet there has been no study conducted to explore the effect of the Livestock Identification Trace Back System on cattle management. Sources close to the issue told Capital that registration guidelines are being carried out by ATA.
“There are several ways to identify cattle some brand a tattoo on the skin, or hang a plastic tag in the ear and neck, ATA is trying to determine the best method.”
It is currently unknown if cattle breeders will be charged for the cards. Recently the country endorsed a breeding policy to control imported breeds and upgrade the quality and quantity of meat and milk from local cattle.
Ethiopia is also drawing up a livestock “master plan” funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) to help combat food shortages. The country is the biggest livestock producer in Africa and 25th worldwide, possessing 35 million head of cattle, 18 million goats and 24 million sheep. Livestock accounts for 20 percent of the total GDP and employs about 31 percent of the agricultural labor force. Research indicates that more public investment needs to be made in the livestock industry. There needs to be better access to veterinary drugs and animal husbandry services especially to pastoralists.