Skipton Auction Mart responds to new sheep tagging legislation Skipton Auction Mart is, in common with other livestock marts across England, set to implement new sheep tagging legislation on April 1 this year, which will affect sheep farmers across the region.

The Livestock Auctioneers Association, of which Craven Cattle Marts (CCM) is a member, has issued guidelines concerning the new procedures and the mart is keen its customers should be fully aware of these important changes and how it aims to implement them


A new movement database - the Animal Reporting and Movements Service (ARAMS) – will start accepting electronic movement notifications from April 1, and it is this body to whom all sheep (and goat) movements should be reported, and not to local authorities as at present.


ARAMS is being delivered under contract to Defra by SouthWestern Business Process Services (UK) Ltd. The current AML1 movement form will be replaced by the new ARAMS1 form, which should be used for all sheep movements from the beginning of April. The new forms will be sent to all sheep markets in England.


At the same time, all markets, collection centres, assembly centres and abattoirs must report their movements electronically and are required to read and record all electronic tags in the sheep (and goats) passing through their premises. This applies to all categories of sheep identified with an electronic tag, both single and double.


Looking further ahead, new requirements will then come into effect from the beginning of 2015, when all sheep born and identified must be tagged with either:


·         A single electronic slaughter tag (only applicable for sheep destined to be slaughtered before they reach one-year-old).

·         Double tags, one with an electronic identification chip (applicable for sheep intended to be retained for breeding).


As far as farmers are concerned, those that choose to report electronically will still be required to maintain the current paper trail. The LAA’s executive secretary Chris Dodds, pointed out: “We have objected to the need for the paper trail when a movement notification has been made electronically, but until every move - including all farmer moves - is made electronically, EU law does not permit member states to move away from the paper trail!”


As with current AML1 movement forms, the new ARAMS1 forms accompanying sheep into market will be collected from vendors by individual marts.


Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager Jeremy Eaton said: “Although Defra are conscious that visual tags will be in circulation during 2014, we are advising vendors to be mindful of ease of identification for purchasers, which means that all animals sold for further finishing should have an electronic tag.


“The key message we need to get across to sheep vendors is that, from April 1, it is imperative that all documentation needs to be fully complete and correct, and should be handed to us on unloading so we can begin to process it.


“With quite often over 3,000 sheep, 200 vendors and 600 lots passing through the mart we are mindful that we need to eliminate as many errors as possible before the start of each sale. Failing that, we would be contacting individual vendors post-sale to rectify any discrepancies that are brought to light when each transaction is emailed to SouthWestern Business Process Services.”


Skipton’s livestock sales manager Ted Ogden added: “The auctioneers will be happy to answer any questions our customers may have.”