This summer's planned roll-out of the ScotEID system has been postponed til November as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon said: “Following discussions with the Bovine EID Industry Working Group on the transition from the Cattle Tracing System to ScotEID, it has been agreed to delay the go live date from summer 2020 to the end of November 2020. This is due to the impact that COVID-19 is having on some third party software providers, as well as the wider farming community.

“The end of November date will mean that the autumn calving period and the main cattle sales will both be finished and there will be the minimum number of births and movements being registered on the system," said Ms Gougeon.

“We will continue to monitor the timings and the impact of COVID-19. If November is no longer an option the next suitable go live date would be the end of January 2021," she added. "This would avoid the busy Christmas period and have the system ready before Spring calving commenced.”

Scotland's Bovine EID industry working group is made up of National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Beef Association, Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, Scottish Crofters Federation, Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, Quality Meat Scotland, Food Standards Scotland, ScotEID and the Scottish Government itself.

NFUS president Andrew McCornick, who chairs the stakeholder group, said: “The announcement that the transition from CTS to ScotEID has been delayed is not a surprise given the disruption to daily life arising from COVID-19.

“Industry stakeholders are keen to see progress made toward fully traceable cattle EID in Scotland but the transition must be managed sensibly, facilitated by ScotEID. This delay will allow ScotEID to work with third party farm software providers to ensure they are ready for transition in November 2020, and that should be welcomed by all in the beef supply chain," he said.

“Throughout this process industry been working openly with Scottish Government, and Scotland continues to be a frontrunner for cattle traceability.”