Call for Animal Identification and Movement system to be off limits to factories
“Either an animal is eligible for sale and slaughter or it’s not and that’s the only identifier that AIM should make known to third parties.” - ICOS
The Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM) should not be open to third parties to view and access all prior animal movement data, ICOS National Marts Executive Ray Doyle told delegates at the Beef Forum in Dublin today.
He said this information should be restricted to the Department of Agriculture only which was the originally intended purpose of the system as a method of monitoring cattle movements in the event of a disease outbreak.
Doyle said that the Government needs to address potential competition issues with meat processors controlling meat plants, offal rendering and now feedlots which also go against the green image that Ireland is trying to project abroad.
“It is the case that other EU countries do not allow third parties to access all prior movement data.
"This is different, of course, to enabling third parties to record information onto the system which is fully necessary and acceptable.
"What we have a big problem with is the fact that the AIM data is being used in reverse by factories and retailers to penalise farmers based on the number of movements of their livestock.
“AIM is facilitating a serious contradiction in the market. On the one hand, we’re promoting our Irish green image abroad which relies on pasture based production, and this advantage is underpinned by movements from farm to farm, as cattle move through their rearing and onwards towards higher levels of nutrition at maturity.
“On the other hand, while AIM is used by hundreds of agents and dealers to record these movements, this is projected as a negative quality parameter by the factories who are effectively using AIM movement records as a trade distorting measure to pay lower prices.