ALL CHANGE FOR ANIMAL MOVEMENTS

DEPUTY farming and food Rebecca Evans has welcomed the new electronic sheep movement reporting system for Wales, EIDCymru, which went live on January 18. Mrs Evans said: “EIDCymru has been developed with the interests of the sheep industry at its heart and demonstrates our commitment to modernise farming practices and procedures. “It is also another important safeguard against the scale and significant cost of diseases, like the type we faced in 2001 with the foot and mouth outbreak. “Our new system will enable keepers to report sheep and goat movements efficiently and will contribute to the further development of modern and professional agricultural businesses, delivering on the objectives sought from the Strategic Framework for Agriculture in Wales.” Electronic reporting is now compulsory for livestock markets, abattoirs and collection centres. The launch coincided with FUW meetings across Wales where EID Cymru staff explained the new system and answered questions from farmers. Commenting on the launch, FUW hill farming committee chairman Ian Rickman said: “Like the then Welsh Assembly Government, the FUW opposed the introduction of EID and following numerous meetings with EC officials in Brussels, London and Wales we were successful in securing essential changes to the original EID legislation.” Mr Rickman said these included a twoyear delay to the original 2008 implementation date, allowing markets, abattoirs and collection centres to report movements on behalf of farmers, an additional transition period for older ewes, and numerous other concessions. “Whilst the launch of EID Cymru is a number of years behind schedule, the Welsh Government’s decision to delay rather than launch an imperfect system makes sense, particularly after the experience in England. “The EID meetings held by the FUW have been a great success given the significant concerns within the industry about the new system, and confusion as to what farmers will be expected to do, particularly if accessing the online system is not an option due, for example, to a lack of broadband.” Farmers have the option to report movements electronically or continue to report movements on the paper movement licence, although the new version of the movement licence must be used and keepers should return the licence to the EIDCymru office. Farmers requiring assistance should contact the EIDCymru helpdesk on 01970 636959 or email: contact@eidcymru.org

…and there’s more to come
IAN Rickman said further changes affecting animal movements are likely over the coming year following a Welsh Government consultation on the County-Parish-Holding (CPH) system. The consultation, which closed on January 19, proposed the standardisation of movement rules for cattle and sheep, the rationalisation of existing CPH numbers and the introduction of a 10-mile rule for all holding identifiers. “This would mean the introduction over time of a system where all land falling fully or partly within 10 miles of the boundary of the main farm holding would become registered under a single holding number,” said Mr Rickman. “Movements between such land would then be exempt from all reporting, TB testing and six-day standstill requirements.” Mr Rickman said movements to all land outside the 10-mile limit would then be subject to the same rules as normal farm-to-farm movements in terms of movement reporting, TB testing and six-day standstill requirements. “The majority of members welcomed the broad principle of the introduction of a 10-mile rule. However, we have highlighted the need for changes to be introduced in order to cater for the needs of farming businesses.” These include the need to allow groups of parcels outside the 10-mile limit to be treated as individual parcels, the continued use of batch reporting for sheep movements where ownership does not change, and the introduction of practical quarantine units in order to ensure businesses can continue to operate in a biosecure way without being restricted by the six-day standstill. “We will continue to monitor developments over the coming year.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.