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Minister Smith announces improved system for cattle movement at Marts

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, confirmed today that as part of the ongoing upgrading of his Department's computer systems, the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system is replacing CMMS in livestock marts from Monday, 21 July 2008.

The new system is designed to confirm that cattle moving through marts are compliant with the Department's database and that sellers and buyers are recorded as "active" on the database and eligible to trade in accordance with TB and Brucellosis testing and identification requirements. Most of the checks under the AIM system are already in place in marts. However, the Minister advised farmers to check their compliance with the new requirements at the District Veterinary Offices or on arrival at the mart.

The Minister said that the operation of the AIM system at marts will improve the overall traceability system for cattle, which provides essential assurances on food safety to consumers and customers of Irish beef. He added that the new system will allow marts to improve the service they deliver to farmers by providing assurances that animals bought in marts are compliant with the Department's database.

Minister Smith said that a number of facilities were already available under AIM that allow farmers to register calf births, apply for compliance certificates and to access herd profiles over the internet. Other online services allow farmers or their nominated agents to submit applications electronically for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). The development of AIM was part of the Department's overall strategy to re-develop all its major computer systems. This approach demonstrated the continued commitment to expanding the range of e-Government services available to the Department's clients.

The Minister concluded by emphasising the valuable role that modern computer facilities can play in assisting with the effective management of farm enterprises and he encouraged farmers to register for online services with the Department at www.agriculture.gov.ie.

Date Released: 16 July 2008