Pig producers and abattoirs are saving time and money with the new BPEX electronic pig movement project, known in short as eAML2. And, for the first time, it means the industry will have a realistic herd register to enable better communication and control in the event of disease outbreak.
The system is currently being trialled in all assured abattoirs and will go live across the industry in April 2011 for England and Wales. It has combined the Animal Movement Licence (AML2) and Food Chain Information (FCI) forms – required when pigs are moved from farm to slaughter – and made the whole process electronic.
Dorothea Schiemann of BPEX said: “The producer fills in details of his consignment online before sending them for slaughter and the abattoir is emailed the information automatically early in the morning before the pigs arrive.
“As before, the abattoir confirms the number of pigs received, any pigs dead on arrival (DOAs) and the consignment's unloading time. Only now the information will be submitted online, which is quicker than handling the paper forms.
“The information is automatically uploaded to the central government database and a copy is sent to the Local Authority, so there is no longer a need for abattoirs to post AML2 forms.
“Producers are also finding it saves them time during Trading Standards audits. What might normally take an hour now only takes 15 minutes: movement licences can all be seen at once on the producer's computer screen so there is no need to faff about with paper licences.”
In time, it will also be possible for third party agents, such as marketing groups, to enter movements onto the system for producers who are uncomfortable with using the internet. The project also has the full support of the British Pig Association.
The next stage is to recruit independent abattoirs to join the trial in October. At the moment, the project covers farm to slaughter movements only, with farm to farm and farm to market/show to follow in due course. The system is funded by DEFRA and is free to use - all that is needed is a PC and internet access.