The system, which combines the Animal Movement License and the Food Chain Information form, is being trialed in all assured abattoirs and will go live across the pig industry in England and Wales in April 2011. “The pig keeper 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," said Dorothea Schiemann of BPEX. “As before, the abattoir confirms the number of pigs received, but now the information will be submitted online and automatically uploaded to the government database — removing the need for paperwork.” Producers are emailed their Meat Hygiene Service carcass reports within 48 hours.
The next step is to recruit independent abattoirs to join the trial in November. For now, the project only covers farm to slaughter movements, but similar online coverage for farm to farm, market or show movements are in the works. The system is funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and is free to use.