Council Regulation (EC) 21/2004 foresees the gradual introduction of individual traceability based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The following steps have been set:
- electronic tagging for all animals born after the 31st December 2009; Member States with small populations of sheep and goats may make electronic identification optional for animals not involved in intra-Community trade
- recording of individual animal codes during movements (individual tracking)
- from 1st January 2011 for all animals born after 31st December 2009
- from 1st January 2012 for all animals
A cost anlysis for electronic identification of small ruminants was carried out by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.