Changes to APHIS are‘unlikely in near future’

In a recent written question to the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Mrs Rosemary Barton (UUP, Fermanagh and South Tyrone) asked whether his department had any plans to improve and simplify the identification of animals for recording on APHIS.

Replying to Mrs Barton’s question the minister said: “The department recently sought the views of stakeholders on a new numbering format as part of the preparatory work for the potential introduction of bovine electronic identification (bovine EID).

“However the format of animal identification numbers recorded on APHIS identifies the holding of origin for animals which is important for the traceability which underpins food safety and disease control systems.

“As this is driven by EU legislation it is therefore unlikely to change in the near future.

“Livestock Keepers currently record animal identifications (ie register cattle births) either directly onto APHIS using APHIS-on-line, through paper submission to DAERA or via a telephony service provided by DAERA.

“DAERA has recently released a series of usability improvements to APHIS-on-line and further changes to enhance its operability on mobile phones and tablets are planned to be released to farmers by May 2020.”