The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD today announced a record level of electronic calf registrations. In 2011, over 700,000 calves representing 34% of calves were registered electronically using the Department’s online service or an approved farm management package.
Farmers that register calves electronically can avail of the facility to use the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database as an electronic herd register. The requirement to maintain the on‑farm bovine herd register, known as the “blue book”, has been removed for those farmers that register with the Department at www.agfood.ie and use the Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system to register calves and to move animals privately. AIM was formerly known as CMMS.
Minister Coveney said that “The use of AIM as an electronic herd register is a great incentive for farmers with home computers to register calves electronically.” The Minister added that “a significant advantage for farmers using the online electronic herd register is the reduced risk of financial penalties arising at cross compliance inspections.”
A farmer can avail of this electronic herd register facility by completing an online application on AIM to use the database as an electronic herd register and agree to abide by the terms and conditions of use.
The Minister pointed out that “a farmer may opt also to use an Agent to submit calf birth registrations and movements electronically to AIM on their behalf and avail of the electronic herd register.” The Agency/Agent can be  a Teagasc advisor,  an agricultural consultant or  any third party that the keeper nominates for this purpose.
Farmers can download the necessary application forms from the Department’s website at www.agriculture.gov.ie under Animal Identification and Movement. Alternatively, a copy of the form to authorise an Agency/Agent can be obtained at the local Department offices.
Farmers using a farm management package approved as an electronic herd register by the Department are exempted from using the blue book also. A new facility will be available shortly that will allow approved Farm Software Package Providers to offer their users real time interaction with the AIM system.
The Minister highlighted that the provision of the new farm software facility, electronic herd register and the Agent facility demonstrates the Department’s continued commitment to expanding the range of electronic services available to its clients and to reducing the administrative burden on farmers.
The Minister concluded with an outline of the services available to farmers that sign up with AIM on the Department’s online services at www.agfood.ie whihc includes Online herd register facility; Register calf births online; Obtain a Certificate of Compliance (permission to move cattle from their holding directly to another holding) online which can be printed off by the keeper moving the animals; View details of animals currently in their herd according to the AIM system; View details of movements into and out of their herd; Notify animal events under the Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding Scheme known also as the Suckler Scheme