Sheep, goats and deer

The first new Livestock Information Service will be for reporting sheep, goat and deer movements, retiring the current Animal Reporting and Movement Service (ARAMS).

Livestock Information Limited is a new company, set up to improve how animal traceability is managed in England and when moves occur between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is majority owned by AHDB and minority owned by Defra – that means it’s both part of government (and so can collect statutory data) and part of industry (so, in the future, can make use of non-statutory data to provide information and analysis to livestock businesses). This delivery model is like that used in leading nations across the world. It is a model that was advocated by industry, which has provided considerable expertise – through the Traceability Design User Group (TDUG) – to co-create the service and help define how Defra is delivering the programme.

Livestock Information’s plan is to improve the ways that animal movements are reported, replacing the current systems used for reporting sheep, cattle and pig movements in several phases and, in the future, moving to a paperless process.

The first process and system to be replaced will be for reporting sheep, goat and deer movements, retiring the current Animal Reporting and Movement Service (ARAMS). The new processes and systems for cattle and pig movements will follow. 

The new sheep service will be used by all keepers including: markets (some 65% of movements come from markets), abattoirs (about 7%) who report moves electronically via ARAMS, those who report on paper (farmer keepers – about 20%) and others using that website (5%) – the remainder is moves between England, Scotland and Wales.

Livestock Information is now planning to begin communications with the livestock industry – engaging with keepers*, including farmers, abattoirs, markets and hauliers and other key stakeholders – to explain how they can register for the new service and what they may need to do differently.  We are also working closely with providers of 3rd party software (for farms, markets and abattoirs) to ensure that their software is upgraded, tested and ready for next year.

If you currently report your livestock movements on paper only or through a farm software package, the new Livestock Information Service will not feel very different to the current ARAMS service to begin with. This is deliberate – it’s vital that there is continuity between the old and new services, before any improvements and additional features can be added. Also, the law currently requires that all sheep movements are reported on paper, even if also done so electronically. Any proposed changes to the ways in which livestock movements are reported and recorded will be subject to the usual period of public consultation by Defra and changes to legislation after that. 

Although the multispecies Livestock Information Service for cattle, sheep, goats, deer and pigs is being built for England, Livestock Information and Defra are working closely with the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to agree how livestock data will be shared across borders to ensure full traceability throughout the UK. 

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