Complicated ‘A moves’ concept explained
‘A MOVES’ or inferred moves are a complicated concept, which many flock owners may be completely unaware of until they receive a letter from their local DVO asking for information about sheep which they have recently moved off their holding.
An inferred move, or ‘A move’ as they are also known, relates to an animal that is not recorded on APHIS as being on the holding that it is being moved off. They can occur when a flock keeper purchases sheep, but the movement to the holding was not recorded on APHIS. When a keeper moves that sheep off the holding, APHIS creates an ‘A move’ to infer the move from the last known place to the holding. This removes the animal from the last known place on APHIS so that it is not recorded twice.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union recently met with DARD to discuss these inferred moves and how they impact on sheep farmers, particularly in relation to cross compliance inspections. DARD confirmed that their staff are focusing on trying to reduce the number of these inferred moves by attempting to tackle the problem in an advisory capacity. Reducing the number of inferred moves will not only improve traceability, and help to reduce the effect of any disease outbreak, but it will also reduce the likelihood of a keeper being subject to a cross compliance penalty.
The UFU were reassured that the presence of an ‘A move’ will not automatically trigger a cross compliance inspection. However, in the case of an inspection, inspectors will have a list of the inferred moves, which they will compare with the farmer’s records to check whether the flock register and appropriate movement documents have been completed. If a movement of sheep to a holding is not recorded in the on-farm documents the keeper may be subject to a cross compliance penalty. Flock keepers are therefore advised to ensure they keep their flock registers up to date, as this is one of the main reasons why financial penalties are applied to keepers’ Single Farm Payments.
In addition, flock keepers are reminded not to move sheep off their holding if they are not recorded in their flock on APHIS, as can happen if they haven’t notified DARD of the movement of sheep to their holding directly from another flock. Purchasers must therefore ensure that they carefully record movements into their flock and send the appropriate white copy of the SG2 movement document to their DARD office within seven days of the movement.
It is also important to ensure all movement documents are checked when buying or selling stock and before leaving a central point of recording (such as a market) so that any errors can be corrected. In particular, keepers should check their name, address, flock number, number of sheep moved and the total number of tag numbers. It is also advisable to check a sample of tags to ensure you have received the correct list.
If you are having difficulties resolving an ‘A move’ or would like further information you are advised to contact the senior animal health and welfare inspector within your local DARD office for advice.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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