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Defra collaborates with industry to develop a single livestock traceability service

The scheme will replace current livestock traceability services with a single multi-species service.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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The makeshift prototype includes miniature farm models, role-play and mock technology devices.
The makeshift prototype includes miniature farm models, role-play and mock technology devices.
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Defra collaborates with industry to develop a single livestock traceability service

A new Government-industry partnership to design a future livestock traceability service in England is underway.

 

The Defra Livestock Information Programme Traceability Design User Group (TDUG), made up of a handful of industry leaders, has kick-started plans to develop mobile technology which is based around the four themes of the Defra 2020 strategy: disease control, increased productivity, enabling better regulation and easier access to markets both at home and abroad.

 

TDUG member Adam Quinney, chairman of AHDB Beef and Lamb, said Defra had been looking to blend all livestock databases in the UK, including sheep, cattle, pigs, goats and horses and had been working on the project for the past 12 months.

 

As it stood, the system was in an embryonic stage but Mr Quinney was confident Defra would roll-out the new service.


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He said farmers often captured their own data but did not use it effectively.

 

"It is about linking all the data we have got and how we use the EID in cattle and sheep better; it is about connectivity and cutting down data to make it easier," he added.

 

Traceability

The programme has been designed to ensure farmers were getting enough use out of the data harvested, Mr Quinney said, and enable ‘the sort of connectivity to help people make decisions’.

 

The scheme will replace livestock traceability services with a single multi-species service that will be easier to use and enable data to be shared, within agreed rules, with farmers, markets and processors.

 

Defra said the system would underpin productivity gains by enabling innovation and precision farming, inspire customer confidence and international trade and signal a step change in the management of endemic disease which so far costs the industry about £620 million each year, excluding bovine TB.

 

Farm chiefs are now pushing for publication of the IT tender document to get the business case signed off and prototype designs to ‘underpin the new service’.

 

The partnership includes:

  • National Sheep Association;
  • NFU;
  • Livestock Auctioneers Assocations;
  • National Beef Association;
  • Approved Livestock Identification Manufacturers’ Association;
  • British Equestrian Federation;
  • Horse Trust, Associate of Independent Meat Suppliers;
  • Defra;
  • Rural Payments Agency;
  • Trading Standards, Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board;
  • HCC (Meat Promotion Wales);
  • Red Tractor;
  • Harper Adams University.
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