Animals moving farms in a B&B movement are classified in the same manner as a permanent farm movement.
The same is generally the case for animals moving to rental accommodation, with the exception of a few scenarios which will be discussed below.
Changes were introduced in 2020 in the manner in which farm movements can be recorded. Before an animal can leave a farm, the keeper of the animals must obtain a certificate of compliance.
This remains the same, but, in the past, an open certificate could be obtained whereby the destination that animals are moving to did not have to be entered. This is no longer allowable and the destination must be entered to obtain a certificate.
The window for notifying the movement on the Department’s animal identification and movement (AIM) system stands at seven days.
There are two avenues for carrying out the movement – online through the Department’s agfood facility or through a hardcopy application via the cattle movement notification agency.
Farm-to-farm movements can be accessed and completed quickly online.
Once logged into your agfood account, select the tab ‘animal movement and identification’ followed by the tab ‘apply to move animals farm to farm’. This brings you to a screen where all required information can be submitted.
Firstly, select from the dropdown ‘movement to’ tab and the option ‘bovine animals to holding’. Then insert the destination herd number in the box called ‘moved to’. If the herd number is correct, it will bring up the name and address of the keeper.
The next step is moving to the list of tag numbers on the right-hand side.
Right-clicking to highlight a tag number and then using the arrows at the bottom will move the tag number to a column on the right.
When all animals have been selected, click the submit button at the bottom. This will then give you a certificate of compliance movement number, which you should record to pass on to the destination keeper who can then notify the movement online.
The movement can be notified by the destination keeper through agfood. Simply log on to agfood, select ‘notify farm movement’, enter the certificate number and click submit.
Hardcopy applications called NBAS 31A can be downloaded from www.agriculture.gov.ie.
Once completed, they can be posted, faxed or emailed (all details on the application) to the cattle movement notification agency. If a valid application is received before 3pm, then a certificate of compliance will issue on the same date.
Once a movement has taken place, it is critical to note that, at this stage, the person receiving the animals now becomes the person responsible for them (the keeper of the animals) and must also be furnished with animal passports (blue cards) for the period animals are on the farm.
The Department has no role in B&B movements outside of disease identification and surveillance and, therefore, has no input as to where animals move thereafter if there are no restrictions on movement related to disease.
There may be some confusion between the requirements imposed on a ‘keeper’ of bovines under European law and the issue of ownership. For this reason, legal advice strongly advises that the parties involved draw up a contract, similar to that used in the case of a contract-rearing agreement that protects all parties involved.
The occurrence of TB in either herd will result in immediate movement restrictions. The movement of any animal from a restricted herd, other than directly to slaughter, is prohibited.
The only movement which can be facilitated is where there are animal welfare concerns, for example in-calf dairy animals calving down on a farm where there are no facilities to milk cows.
The Department advises that this permission to move test-negative animals from a B&B or contract-rearing farm is dependent on a low disease risk and assessment by the regional veterinary office, which will discuss and outline all options in such a situation.
Such a movement will not interfere with a farmer’s right to TB compensation if an animal is subsequently identified as a reactor in the herd. It is also important to note that any animals older than six weeks of age must be subjected to a 30-day pre-movement test in order to qualify for compensation.
If TB occurs and animals are being retained in a B&B or contract-rearing facility, the Department will pay any compensation due to the herd owner of the holding on which the animals are retained. The Department also advises farmers to place due regard to these eventualities by having them covered in a written contractual agreement.
Another important element to note is that restrictions also apply to inconclusive reactor animals which test clear when retested. The Department advises these animals are restricted for life to the herd of disclosure and can only be moved direct to slaughter or, in exceptional circumstances, on foot of a movement permit directly to a feedlot for onward movement direct to slaughter.
Movement records exceptions
There are cases where animals are moving to rental accommodation where there are no animals present on the holding and the rental agreement is essentially an extension of the owner of the animal’s housing.
It is worth clarifying any non-standard queries with your regional veterinary office.