DARD Management Notes: Information Technology

Paper herd registers are no longer required if you are a APHIS online user and follow the DAERA guidelines
Paper herd registers are no longer required if you are a APHIS online user and follow the DAERA guidelines

Reduce your paperwork – maintain your herd register on APHIS

DAERA now offers cattle farmers the option of maintaining their herd register on APHIS instead of using an on-farm electronic or paper herd register. APHIS is a safe and secure DAERA online service with 24/7 access which is quick, user friendly and helps reduce errors.

To take advantage of this new facility you must comply with certain conditions. The main conditions for maintaining your herd register on APHIS are:

* Access — you need to have access to APHIS online

* Accuracy — you must take responsibility for the accuracy of your herd information

* Electronically — you must record all of your births, deaths and movements electronically rather than sending notification documents to DAERA

* Timing — you must record births within 23 days, your intention to move animals off your farm on the day of movement and all other events within three days of each event

Detailed guidance and a list of commonly asked questions are available on the DAERA website at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/online-herd-register-guidance-cattle. To avoid financial penalties, please read the guidance carefully before you start maintaining your herd register on APHIS. Please pay particular attention to the conditions with which you must comply.

Although keeping a herd register (paper, electronic or APHIS online) and retaining a record for ten years are legal requirements, choosing to maintain your herd register on APHIS is entirely voluntary. You can use APHIS online to access your herd information and notify births, deaths and movements and at the same time continue to use an on-farm electronic or paper herd register.

Herd register checks are included as part of cross compliance inspections and will be examined if your business is selected for inspection. At the beginning of the inspection you will be asked whether you are maintaining your herd register on APHIS. If you are, you will be asked to confirm the start date. The inspector may also examine your previous on-farm paper/electronic herd register for the period before you started using APHIS.

APHIS online herd list – what information is available?

If you are using APHIS online as your herd register, it is important to become familiar with the online herd list and the available information. Use this list to check that all your registrations and notifications are up to date and correct. Each animal in your herd will be listed with its tag number and description (colour/breed/sex) as well as date of birth and age. Although not required for the herd register, APHIS online also gives you information about your animals registrations status codes, FQAS status, export eligibility, TB/Br status and date of last calving.

If this is not enough, you can also see information about movements and calving history by clicking on any tag number listed in your herd.

The information can be downloaded or printed and is always updated each time you complete an online registration using APHIS online.

Further help

If you wish to register to access APHIS online or other DAERA online services, please contact the DAERA Online Services Helpdesk on 028 9442 6699 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or email: onlineservices@daera-ni.gov.uk.

We have published a range of videos on the DAERA website about registering for and using APHIS online which includes the use of APHIS as a herd register.