A number of farmers have informed ICOS of export eligibility issues, which have been identified after recent cattle sales when exporters who purchased animals tried to export them and have had them rejected at the export assembly centres. This has resulted in serious problems for exporters, marts, and farmers alike.
Ray Doyle outlined some problems arising with the AIM system to Department of Agriculture representatives at the latest meeting of the Farmers Charter Monitoring Committee, hosted in Portlaoise.
Cattle being presented for sale at marts indicate on the electronic boards as ‘eligible for export’ in a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ display, yet some farmers who bought or moved animals between herds, and who then brought these livestock for sale via the mart, have had their cattle indicated as eligible for export when they are not.
Ray Doyle said: “The AIM system is very important in ensuring full animal traceability and this in turn provides a necessary reassurance of origin and quality for consumers.
"However, AIM is also a facilitator of trade based on the same principles and any anomalies in how export eligibility is identified must be ironed out.”
ICOS requested that the Department of Agriculture ensure that all data on export eligibility of cattle is clearly displayed at marts. EU live export criteria is that the animal must have a valid test for TB within 30 days and must have been on its last residence for 30 continuous days.
Data feeding the display boards currently appears only to reflect the TB tests to date and this does not correlate fully with up to date movement records.