Jargon and Acronyms

Some common terms and acronyms used within Livestock Information


Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. Owns 51% of Livestock Information Ltd. Manages the current pig traceability service called eAML2 


Animal Health and Welfare Board for England  


Association of Independent Meat Suppliers  


Approved Livestock Identification Manufacturers’ Association 


Animal Movements Licensing System  


Animal and Plant Health Agency


Livestock Information’s audit, risk and assurance committee


Animal Reporting and Movement Service, run by CAPITA 


British Cattle Veterinary Association 


The British Cattle Movement Service is the organisation responsible for maintaining a database of all bovine animals in Great Britain; Northern Ireland has a separate database maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was established in the wake of the mad cow disease crisis in the UK, and is part of the Rural Payments Agency. Other member states of the European Union have similar cattle tracing systems. Every bovine animal in the United Kingdom (as elsewhere in the European Union) has a unique number, shown both on an ear tag in each ear and on a paper cattle passport which is held by the current keeper of the animal. The system covers cattle and also other bovine animals such as water buffalo, yak, bison and hybrids. The number and passport remain with the animal throughout its life, and are recorded by the slaughterhouse at its death, allowing traceability of the beef. The BCMS central database is called the Cattle Tracing System, and works alongside the physical passport to record the births, deaths and movements of all cattle 


British Equestrian Federation  

Bovine EID

Electronic tagging system for cattle.  This allows reading of tags automatically by suitable machinery


British Meat Processors Association


British Pig Association


Manages the current sheep, goat and deer traceability service called ARAMS 


Collection and Communication of Inspection Results

Core Livestock Application (CLA)

The central software package which runs the Livestock Information Service


The Cattle Tracing System. It is the database for all cattle in Great Britain (Northern Ireland has a separate tracing system), to which farmers must notify births, movements and deaths of cattle on their holding. The system was introduced on 28 September 1998 in order to meet EU legislation requiring all member states to have a computerised tracing system by the end of 1999. There are currently four ways to notify CTS about births/movements/deaths including via the postal service using movement cards (cheque-book style passports only) and passport applications, over the telephone using the CTS Self-Service Line, over the internet using the CTS Online service or through third party software using CTS Web Services  


Devolved administration. Until devolution in 1999, civil servants in all parts of the UK reported to UK Government ministers. Today, around one in 10 civil servants is accountable to ministers in the three devolved administrations – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Owns 49% of Livestock Information Ltd. Runs three traceability services: cattle (via RPA), pigs (via AHDB), and sheep, goats and deer (via CAPITA) 

Double-ended movements

A Keeper reporting the sending and receiving locations when animals move between holdings


Pig traceability service run by AHDB


Electronic Identification

Electronic Medicines Hub (e-MH)

A proposed value-add service which will allow cattle and sheep producers to record the full medical history of individual animals.  This will echo the operation of the successful e-Medicines Book, which covers pigs.  Both systems will draw on Livestock Information Service data when it becomes available


Food Chain Information


Food Standards Agency


The principle that a livestock tracing system used by any nation of the UK will be readable by systems used in other nations.

Knowledge-Based Trading

A proposed value-add service which will provide information at the point of purchase on diseases such as bovine TB or Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), allowing farmers to make purchasing decisions based on health status


Livestock Auctioneers Association

Livestock Information Limited

A company created to implement and operate the Livestock Information Service.  It is owned 51% by AHDB and 49% by Defra

Livestock Information Programme

A joint Defra-AHDB initiative to work with industry to build the Livestock Information Service

Livestock Information Service (LIS)

A digital service to trace registration and movements of livestock in England.  It replaces three systems:  The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) for cattle; EAML2 for pigs, and ARAMS for sheep, goats and farmed deer. The Livestock information Service is being designed to permit the addition of other species in the future. Equivalent services are in development in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Livestock Unique Identifier System (LUIS)

The working title and old name for the ‘livestock Information Services’ Ear Tag Allocation System. This is a system for assigning and registering individual identifying numbers to animals which are then stored on a single database.  This is a necessary component of a digital tracing system



Notifiable Disease Outbreak Management System


A non-departmental public body. AHDB is an NDPB of Defra


National Beef Association


National Farmers Union


National Pig Association


National Sheep Association

Ownership Group

A board-type group which oversees the work of Livestock Information Limited.  Two such groups exist:  one for Defra and one for AHDB.  These groups are additional to the board of Livestock Information Limited


Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers


Road Haulage Association


The Rural Payments Agency. Manages the current cattle traceability service, which is the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) using technology called the Cattle Tracing System (CTS). It is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The RPA delivers the European Union (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments to farmers and traders in England, paying out over £2 billion in subsidies each year. The Agency manages more than 40 schemes, the largest of which the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) paying more than £1.5 billion to around 105,000 claimants a year. Along with paying subsidies the Agency has a number of other roles including managing the British Cattle Movement Service and the Rural Land Register, which holds around 2.4 million registered land parcels digitally, and sends land maps to landowners in England. The Agency is the EU’s single paying agency for market support measures across the United Kingdom under Defra authority and as agreed with Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland’s Ministers 

Traceability Design User Group (TDUG)

A collaboration of government and industry leaders from across the meat and livestock industry and academia. Established as a user advisory group, to ensure users needs are at the heart of the Livestock Information Service

Statutory Service

That part of the Livestock Information Programme which is a legal requirement on industry.  Funded by Defra.  Compare Value-Add services

Strategic industry insight

A proposed value-add service which encompasses the whole range of data collected about livestock production to generate information at national level on industry performance, trends and trading patterns. By combining datasets, often in real-time, LIS will be able to improve the range and quality of information and business insight which can be made available to levy payers and others in the supply chain

UK View

The system by which the UK Livestock industry as a whole interacts with the rest of the world.  Traceability is a devolved matter, meaning it is dealt with separately in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  However, international trade is not devolved. The Livestock Information Programme has oversight of UK View matters


Value-Add services

Those parts of the Livestock Information Programme which are optional but have the potential to increase value or otherwise benefit industry.  These services are funded from a number of sources including the AHDB levy.  Compare Statutory Service


Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Whole-Life Assurance

A proposed value-add service.  A system whereby an animal’s entire life history can be recorded.  This may include medicine usage, number of movements and type of farming