Tag suppliers are advising farmer customers to order cattle tags in good time ahead of calving, as a result of ongoing delays in postal deliveries.

The huge increase in online shopping during the recent lockdown has put An Post and all courier services under pressure.

Some farmers are reporting delays in receiving new tags and in getting BVD test results back from laboratories.

Tag suppliers say they have been advised by An Post staff that there is a backlog in the system and that some deliveries will take three to five days longer than usual.

Sharp increase

Problems are localised and many farmers are getting tags and BVD results without delays. A small number of farmers have reported BVD samples being lost and never reaching the laboratory for testing.

This Christmas we expect to handle 3.3m parcels

Tag companies are not reporting any significant increase in farmers ordering replacement tissue tags to take second samples. The number of sample tags being sent for testing will rise sharply from mid-January onwards.

A spokesperson for An Post told the Irish Farmers Journal that delays may arise as a result of a sharp increase in parcel volume this Christmas.

“This Christmas we expect to handle 3.3m parcels, whereas on a normal year this figure would be closer to 1m. We are pulling out every stop to ensure there are minimal delays to agri-businesses and their customers.”