Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill today visited the farm of James Brown, Newtownards to celebrate the ongoing success of APHIS Online.
Herdkeepers use APHIS Online to register births, deaths and movements. The central APHIS database facilitates the recording of information about animals, who keeps them, and where they are kept, and underpins public health, traceability, and meat product quality assurance.
The Ards area is the first DVO (Divisional Veterinary Office) area in the north of Ireland to have over 50% of calves born registered online.
Minister O’Neill said: “It is very encouraging to see the significant growth in the use of APHIS Online. Farmers in the Ards area are leading the way but other areas are catching up quickly. As part of DARD Online Services we provide a comprehensive range of services to make it easier for farmers to manage their businesses more efficiently.
"Traditionally herd keepers have registered calves on paper; posting, faxing or calling into the local DARD office. However in recent months there has been a large increase in the number of births registered online. Over the last year alone the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has led a marketing and training project whereby over 1,350 farmers have been trained to use APHIS Online.”
It is not just the fact that it saves time, effort and money doing it online that is attracting farmers to make the switch to online. Accessing the system gives herd keepers access to many additional features including:
Registering cattle births, deaths and stillborns.
Producing movement notification of cattle moving off your herd to market, abattoir or another farm.
Confirming cattle movements into your herd.
Viewing your herd list including information about your animals’ DARD statuses, TB & Br test results and export eligibility.
Viewing movement and progeny history of every animal in your herd. Viewing post and ante mortem details of slaughtered animals.
Producing a report to count and classify your animals as part of the Nitrate Action Programme.