Department ‘at advanced stage’ in calf registration app development

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is at an advanced stage of development to provide a calf birth registration application for mobile devices, according to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

The app will be accessible on devices such as smartphones and tablets for farmers who are already registered for Agfood.ie services, the minister said.

The minister was responding to a question on the matter from Sinn Fein agriculture spokesperson Martin Kenny.

In the initial phase farmers will be able to register calf birth details directly with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system using this app.

“This service will be more convenient and time-efficient for farmers in registering calf birth details,” the minister said.

It will help to minimise errors in calf birth details submitted and avoid duplication of records on the farm.

In addition, an enhancement to help farmers process farm-to-farm movements for cattle more easily will be included in a subsequent phase which will be available later in 2019, the minister added.

Further enhancements will be released on an ongoing basis, he said.

Ships cleared under additional welfare regulations

Minister Creed also confirmed in the Dail last week that three dedicated livestock carriers have been cleared under new animal welfare regulations, while two more are currently being inspected.

Commenting on animal welfare, Minister Creed said that departmental inspections ensure that “the highest animal welfare standards are strictly complied with during transport of live cattle”.

“The Department of Agriculture has put additional controls on calf exports to ensure the highest welfare standards for unweaned calves.

Departmental officials visited control posts in Cherbourg in September in this regard and are engaging with live exporters. Department officials have met with the ferry companies in relation to calf exports.

“Currently, three dedicated livestock carriers are approved: mv Sarah; mv Alondra; and the mv Holstein Express. My officials are in the process of completing inspections of two further vessels,” the minister said.