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Minister Smith Emphasises Importance of Cattle Traceability System

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today emphasised the importance of the cattle traceability system in ensuring that Ireland maintains a strong presence in our most important markets for cattle and beef products both at home and abroad.

Minister Smith was speaking at the official opening of the extension and refurbishment of Mohill livestock mart. The Minister said that he was "very pleased that my Department has been in a position to provide grant-aid to assist this very impressive development, which includes the construction of penning, cattle handling facilities, information display systems, parking facilities, lairage area and a water treatment plant."

The Minister said that livestock marts play a pivotal role in the livestock sector and in the operation of the cattle traceability system. He described the Department's on-line Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system as "the electronic database that underpins the beef traceability system."  Minister Smith said that the AIM system "is being developed and enhanced on an ongoing basis." The Minister also urged farmers to avail of the on-line facilities being provided by his Department through www.agfood.ie, including those for the electronic registration of births and movements and, therefore, discontinue the requirement to maintain the on-farm bovine herd register, known as the "blue book".

The Minister concluded by congratulating those associated with the redevelopment and refurbishment of the new mart facilities at Mohill and wished all those associated with the new facility continued success and prosperity in the future.

Date Released: 10 September 2010