Livestock producers urged to prepare for ScotMoves ahead of 1 January 2017

As the way cattle movements are recorded in Scotland changes from 1 January 2017, cattle producers are encouraged to put in place measures to avoid penalties.
The Scottish Government announced earlier this year that it would be introducing significant changes to Scotland’s linked holdings system.
The controversial and unpopular changes will see an end to the Cattle Tracing Systems (CTS) linked holding rules.  Currently, keepers can register holdings that they regularly use so cattle movements between these linked holdings do not need to be electronically reported, although they do have to be noted in the farm’s herd register.
The new rules will see within business cattle movements in Scotland reported through ScotMoves to an online holding register.  All movements involving a change of ownership must continue to be reported to CTS.
Certain derogations can be applied where frequent movements occur between neighbouring holdings.  Keepers can opt out of using the ScotMoves system but all movements must then be reported through CTS.
Farmers must register any additional land that they use by the end of 2016, and start allocating their cattle to the correct holdings from 1 January. 
Andrew McCornick, NFU Scotland Vice President commented: “It is important that farmers are aware of these changes. If you keep cattle on more than one County Parish Holding (CPH) you need to register the additional land, and then from 1 January allocate your cattle to the correct holding.  It may be worth considering if you can amalgamate land under one CPH as moves only need to be reported between different CPHs. 
“The Union has previously written to the Cabinet Secretary asking for leniency and proportionality in the approach to cross compliance. Given that, in some cases, movement information for individual animals may have to be manually inputted into the system, the risk of error increases and the penalty matrix must reflect that.
“NFU Scotland has fought hard to ensure there is a light touch in year one for cross compliance, however, farmers must be able to demonstrate they tried to comply to avoid penalty. 
“We will be working with the Scottish Government throughout 2017 to monitor how the changes are affecting farming businesses.”
Notes to Editors
Should members wish further information, they can contact Penny Johnston on 0131 472 4021 or email:  

Date Published:

News Article No.: 270/16

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