The Livestock Information Programme completed the initial multispecies phase of the programme in September 2020, with the core traceability system fully built with cattle and sheep functionality.
Our first priority to transition to the Livestock Information Service (LIS) is sheep. This is because the existing sheep service – ARAMS – is an England-only service and our replacement will also be an England-only service. We also think that there are opportunities to improve in due course the quality of traceability, and potentially help to provide the industry with data that could help with international trade post EU transition.
Our ambition is to make sheep reporting as simple as possible and ideally to be paperless in the future, but we need to test how this may work in the ‘real’ world. To better understand what is possible, we will be running some paperless pilots and then will work closely with Defra policy to put the enabling legislation in place.
In terms of switching users from ARAMS to the LIS, our objective is to transition as many users as possible by the end of March 2021, but a complete transition by then is not critical. We are not aiming for a formal launch but instead are taking an incremental approach. This will start small, enabling us to learn and improve as we go, looking at how different users engage with the service, including those who use post and fax and email, and those who engage online including through third-party software providers.
You will not see a lot of change intitially, for example, if you are currently reporting sheep movements by paper, you would continue to do so. The new system will be working behind the scenes to make sure that we get it right and improve your experience. Those who use the new digital user interface will have a better experience, including a full holding register functionality that will lessen the burden for you.
To start with, our aim must be to make sure that the transition is as easy as possible for people who need to use the system, and to ensure that the quality of traceability is not compromised.