In Germany, identification and registration of cattle is regulated on the basis of the statutory regulations issued by the European Union. Since January 1st, 1998, all cattle must be marked with 2 identical ear tags immediately after birth. The compliance with that regulation is monitored and disciplined by the appropriate authorities. An animal may not be sold or moved as long as it is not marked with 2 identical ear tags. This guarantees a high degree of safety with the indisputable identification of the animals. Immediately after birth, the calves are registered in the central database (HIT). Each case of change in ownership or relocation of an animal is subject to registration in the database to ensure that its path through life can be traced back without gap from the moment of birth till death.
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