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The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) is the organisation responsible for maintaining a database of all bovine animals in Great Britain; Northern Ireland has a separate database maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was established in the wake of the mad cow disease crisis in the UK, and is part of the Rural Payments Agency. Other member states of the European Union have similar cattle tracing systems.

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  • British Cattle Movement Service
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  • The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) is the organisation responsible for maintaining a database of all bovine animals in Great Britain; Northern Ireland has a separate database maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was established in the wake of the mad cow disease crisis in the UK, and is part of the Rural Payments Agency. Other member states of the European Union have similar cattle tracing systems.
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  • December 2014
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  • Could we have this explained more clearly, with at least one example please, and how it differs from the mainland UK system?
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  • The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) is the organisation responsible for maintaining a database of all bovine animals in Great Britain; Northern Ireland has a separate database maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was established in the wake of the mad cow disease crisis in the UK, and is part of the Rural Payments Agency. Other member states of the European Union have similar cattle tracing systems. Every bovine animal in the United Kingdom (as elsewhere in the European Union) has a unique number, shown both on an ear tag in each ear and on a paper cattle passport which is held by the current keeper of the animal. The system covers cattle and also other bovine animals such as water buffalo, yak, bison and hybrids. The number and passport remain with the animal throughout its life, and are recorded by the slaughterhouse at its death, allowing traceability of the beef. The BCMS central database is called the Cattle Tracing System, and works alongside the physical passport to record the births, deaths and movements of all cattle.
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