Marking and registration of bovine animals

Legislation on the identification and registration of animals changed on 21 April 2021, when the Regulation on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health and the acts adopted under it began.2016/429 was adopted. Detailed requirements for the identification and registration of cattle are laid down in a new Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/520. The new Act on the Identification and Registration of Animals (1069/2021) entered into force on 1 January 2022. The Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (67/2022) on the identification and registration of animals issued under the Act entered into force on 24 January 2022. 

All Bovinae sub-family animals are considered bovine animals. These include cows, zebut, yak, bison and water buffalo. Everything that is required of cattle applies to all these animals.

The purpose of the tagging and registering bovine animals is to improve food safety. These measures will enable traceability and thus ensure that consumers are sold non-counterfeit and safe products. In particular, cattle labelling systems have been developed due to the health risk posed by BSE.

An establishment where cattle are kept and a notification on the keeping of animals must be registered in the Register of Animal Keepers and Establishments. Registration is submitted to the municipality’s Rural Livelihood Authority before the start of animal keeping using forms or via the e-service application

Each born calf must be tagged with two official ear tags approved by the Finnish Food Authority. Untagged or inadequately tagged cattle may not be removed from an establishment. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decree states that the registration fee is EUR 4.40/animal.

A farmer must notify the Cattle Register of the birth, death, sale, purchase and transfer of his cattle no later than the 7th day following the date of the event. Register notifications can be submitted online or using forms. Log into the Cattle Register’s e-service application at 
The Cattle Register’s notification forms are on the Form page.

The slaughterhouse and the place of slaughter must submit a register query to the bovine animal register before animals are delivered to the slaughterhouse or the place of slaughter. This will verify that the animals are registered and are not subject to movement restrictions. Slaughterhouses can submit a register query and their own notifications in the e-service application at 

Instructions on the tagging and registration of bovine animals can be found in Finnish at Nautaeläinten tunnistamis- ja rekisteröintiohje (updated on 31. March 2023).  

Page last updated 8/11/2023