Every animal keeper is obliged to ensure the identification of his farm animals according to § 10 of Infectious Animal Disease Control Act. Identification is necessary for the animal keeper himself in order to get a better overview about his herd and its production capacity; for the veterinarian, performing necessary medical treatment in the farm and in need to determine an exact scheme of treatment for the cured animal and later to have information about the prohibition period for milk and meat; it is also necessary for the authorised veterinarian, performing infectious animal disease prevention work and later inspection of the animal farm.
Identification of farm animals is very important in case of spread of dangerous infectious animal diseases where all animals adjacent to the infected one, also all their successors and parents have to be determined very precisely.
Plastic ear tags, containing a non-recurrent number in the Republic of Estonia, identify farm animals. All bovine animals, sheep and goats have to be marked with the plastic ear tags. Both ears of bovid will be marked with ear tags, while goats and sheep will be marked with an ear tag in the right ear only. The number on the ear tag is the register number of the animal, which is remaining the same throughout his lifetime. Means necessary for marking animals are issued at the expense of the animal keeper. Animals may be marked either by a veterinarian, livestock production expert, assistant etc., but however, the keeper of the animal is responsible for timely marking and registration of the animal.
The keeper of animals is required to keep an updated register of farm animals, owned by him and register them in the register of farm animals, as established in the Infectious Animal Disease Control Act and descending legal acts. Local government should arrange the keeping of a register on dogs and on other pets as well if necessary. Many local governments have generated pet registers for cats and dogs. In addition, the Estonian Pets Veterinarians Foundation has created a pet register as a service for pet owners.
The list of farm animals subject to identification, procedures of their identification and registration, issue of registration certificates and form of a cattle passport, instructions for composition of the animal description and the procedure for keeping the register are established by the Government or the authorised ministry.
The register of farm animals is a legal register, generated on the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture on the basis of Data Collection Act. More detailed information about it can be found on the homepage of Agricultural Registers and Information Board.
The responsible processor of the register of farm animals is the Ministry of Agriculture and the authorised processor of the register is the Agricultural Registers and Information Board.
The data, presented by the animal keeper about registered farm animals owned by him, farm buildings or premises for livestock or restricted area used for keeping animals will be entered into the register. The geographic co-ordinates of the registered farm building or premises for livestock or restricted area used for keeping animals should be presented to register by the authorised processing specialist