Cattle producers should be prepared for a change in the way cattle movement is recorded at the end of the month.
On 1 August, cheque book-style cattle passports will be replaced by a one-page A4 passport in England, Scotland and Wales, and will no longer include pre-paid movement cards.
As a result, all cattle movements will have to be recorded either online through the CTS website, through farm software packages or through an automated self-service phone line. However, the rules regarding recording births, deaths and movements remain unchanged. Producers will still need to report all movements to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) within three days and keep their farm records up to date.
Figures from 2011 showed only a small proportion of cattle movements were recorded using the card system, with 83% reported electronically. Consequently, the change to the new system is hoped to meet farmer requirements, while reducing farmer administration burdens. The reduction in paper and postage costs is also set to save the RPA £1m a year.
Sue Mellor, BCMS operations manager, said: “Our electronic cattle tracing services have proved extremely popular, so it makes sense to produce a new cattle passport which meets the needs of our farmers, saving them time and effort.”
The electronic services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those farmers not set up for the online or phone system will need to do the following:
Cattle Tracing System (CTS) online:
• Register for the Government Gateway and then enrol for CTS online
• If you are already using the Government Gateway for other purposes, you just need to enrol for CTS online
• Information about registering for the government gateway and CTS online can be found in the ‘CTS online user guide’ section of the BCMS area on the RPA website
Self-service phone line:
• You will need to have a County Parish Holding (CPH) number registered on CTS, along with the telephone number(s) that you will be calling from
• You can access the line by calling 0845 011 1212
The main change is the look of the passport, explained Ms Mellor. “As of 1 August, if you have newborn or imported cattle, or your original identification document needs to be reissued, BCMS will send you a single-page passport (CPP52). There will be no requirement to return current passports for reissue to the new style document.”
The new passport has been designed to meet farmer requirements by working closely with industry bodies, including the NBA and NFU.
The A4 sheet includes a heat-sensitive diamond shape security feature on the bottom right corner to assure producers that a passport is an original document.
The new passport also includes a space which can be used for farm assurance stickers, auction or market lot numbers, for recording TB testing details or other information.
Information about the new passport system
• Visit the BCMS pages on the new RPA website
• Phone BCMS helpline on 0845 050 1234 (English) or 0845 050 3456 (Welsh language)
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org