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PORTLAOISE – Thursday 6th April, 2017 – Measures are necessary to ensure that the Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM) is accurately indicating whether animals are eligible for export or not, ICOS Marts Commiitee has stated.

ICOS National Marts Executive Ray Doyle outlined some problems arising with the system to Department of Agriculture representatives at today’s meeting of the Farmers Charter Monitoring Committee in Portlaoise.

Cattle being presented for sale at marts currently indicate on the electronic display boards as ‘eligible for export’ in a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ display.

However, some farmers who recently bought or moved animals between herds, and who then brought these livestock for sale through the mart, have had their cattle indicated as eligible for export when they are not. The problem has only been identified – after the sale – when exporters who purchased animals tried to export them and have had them rejected at the export assembly centres. This has resulted in serious problems for exporters, marts and farmers alike.

The criteria for live export within the EU is that the animal must have a valid test for TB within the last 30 days and must also have been on its last residence for 30 continuous days.

The data feeding the display boards currently appears only to reflect the TB tests to date and this does not correlate fully with up to date movement records.

Ray Doyle asked the Department to ensure that all data regarding THE export eligibility of cattle is clearly displayed at marts.

“The AIM system is clearly very important in ensuring full animal traceability and this in turn provides a necessary reassurance of origin and quality for consumers.  However, AIM is also a facilitator of trade based on these same principles and any anomalies in how export eligibility is identified must be ironed out.”