Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (45)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

45. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider developing the Agfood.ie site to allow sheep farmers record and view sheep movements and census figures in order not to have to rely on hard copy sheep registers and dispatch dockets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51165/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

There is currently a facility on the Agfood.ie site for farmers to submit their annual sheep and goat census figures to the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database and to view their historical sheep and goat census data. Furthermore there is a facility on the website for farmers to order books of personalised sheep dispatch/movement document books and to view their order history for these books including the range of individual serial numbers that were printed on each book.

The Agfood.ie website and the AIM database are being developed and enhanced on an ongoing basis and it is intended to add further facilities to the sheep module in the future. My Department will be examining the feasibility of providing access to sheep movement information and an electronic flock register template which can be used by sheep farmers to maintain their records.

Under the EU sheep identification regulations there will continue to be a requirement for batches of sheep moving off holding to be accompanied by a hard copy dispatch/movement document. However, the changes to the National Sheep Identification System associated with the extension of EID to all sheep, which I announced recently, will mean that from 1 June 2019 farmers will only be required to fill out minimal information on these documents. From 1 June 2019 when sending sheep to a factory or mart that is approved as a Central Point of Recording there will be no requirement for farmers to record all of the individual tag numbers on the dispatch/movement document as the Central Point of Recording will scan all of the tags in the consignment and will provide the farmer with a list of printed tag numbers for their records.