New multispecies traceability system for Wales

Wyn Evans_34657

Welsh Government has announced its decision to develop Wales’ first multispecies traceability system.

In a written statement, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: "Bringing together the separate systems for cattle, sheep and pigs will fulfil European requirements, thus supporting the continuation of trade post-Brexit. It will also improve traceability in the event of a disease outbreak and deliver significant opportunity for the Welsh red meat industry to use the improved data to benefit farmers and the wider supply chain.

"Having considered the options, in detail I have decided the best way to deliver a workable solution for Wales is to build on the very successful EIDCymru. In making this decision, I have asked my officials to continue to work closely with the other UK administrations to ensure the respective systems seamlessly exchange data in order to achieve the highest levels of traceability.

"My officials will also work closely with Defra and the Livestock Information Programme to ensure, as far as possible, the development of our respective systems move forward together and the transfer of reporting arrangements from the current GB cattle and pig systems is managed effectively.

"It is essential our multispecies system provides a platform which is accessible and easy to use by our farmers, livestock markets and abattoirs, building on the success of EIDCymru. In order to ensure this, my officials will continue to work very closely with the Livestock Identification Advisory Group whose expertise and advice has proven so valuable.

"The priority is to transfer the cattle system from early 2020. I will be issuing a formal consultation in the New Year on updating Bovine Identification and Movement Recording to include the requirements for Bovine EID. As work progresses, I will update Members.

I have made the decision to develop a Welsh system in the knowledge in Wales we have an excellent  track record of working together to develop successful systems which deliver for Wales.

NFU Cymru's response to the announcement:

NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman, Wyn Evans, said: “Now that Welsh Government has taken the decision to develop EID Cymru into a  multispecies database, we look forward to being fully involved in its future development to help ensure it meets the needs of the industry in Wales.

“Domestic and international trade drivers for livestock information are constantly increasing, and it is vital that we continue to have strong and robust animal traceability systems to make sure that we can access the maximum amount of markets.

“It is essential that the system is easy to access, simple to operate and totally compatible with databases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We are pleased that the written statement makes reference to working closely with Defra and the livestock information programme - this is essential given the level of cross border trade. We must take this opportunity to make livestock reporting and recording simpler for livestock keepers and for Welsh Government.

“As well as meeting statutory needs, the database should also have the potential to provide data that will offer additional benefits to livestock producers. Examples would include animal health information as well as the farm assurance status of individual animals.

“Who owns and who can access the information on the database will be an important part of discussions going forward, as will the long term funding of the database.”

Last edited: 16:16 on December 13, 2018

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