Thanks to biebkriebels, I was able to learn more about the European Union's regulations regarding bovine animals, all of which makes great sense to me after having once seen the devastating results of hoof-and-mouth disease among cattle in Hungary:
In April 1997, in response to the BSE crisis, the Council of the European Union implemented a system of permanent identification of individual bovine animals enabling reliable traceability from birth to death.
The basic objectives for Community rules on the identification of bovine animals are:
- the localisation and tracing of animals for veterinary purposes, which is of crucial importance for the control of infectious diseases
- the traceability of beef for public health reasons
- the management and supervision of livestock premiums as part of the common organisation of the market in beef and veal