The first stage of the new Northern Ireland Food Animal Information System (NIFAIS) is now operational, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.
From Monday 19 June 2017 cattle ear tag suppliers and DAERA staff have been able to use the first elements of the new system to cover the registration of new animal keepers, approval of new herd and flock numbers, and to authorise new or replacement bovine ear tags.
NIFAIS is the replacement for the Animal Plant Health Information System (APHIS), the Department’s animal health and traceability system, and further implementation will see Disease Control and Food Animal traceability coming online in the spring/summer 2018.
Chief Veterinary Officer Robert Huey said: “When fully implemented NIFAIS will integrate with DAERA’s mapping, customer information, payment and records management systems, as well as its suite of on-line services. It will also link seamlessly to other IT systems within the Department, in addition to DAERA’s delivery partners, such as labs, vets and ear tag suppliers, and also out to industry IT systems. As a result NIFAIS offers staff, delivery partners and farmers the ability to access these systems 24/7, with all the benefits of a single source of information, with increased security and privacy.
“Additionally, the NIFAIS contract offers the Department (or others) the opportunity to introduce further enhancements and interfaces in a cost-effective manner, as unlike its predecessor, it allows for more open competition between prospective suppliers.”
Running in parallel to the implementation of NIFAIS, DAERA is upgrading the “Aphis-on-Line” service with a number of improvements reflecting user feed-back. These include a re-design so that the full suite of Aphis-on-line services will be optimised for use on smart phones and tablets, making the apps truly mobile. Specific changes will also be made this summer to improve the Sire Registration process and display information on BVD status, and within the next year, to Cattle Movement, Import and Death Notification processes.
In the same time-frame, veterinary practices will have access to improved tools to assist with the delivery of Tb Testing, monitoring of performance, and management of the health of their clients’ herds.