With less than two weeks until the system is scheduled to go live everyone should have heard about the the new Animal Recording And Movement Service (ARAMS) for sheep, goats and deer. We’ve been talking to people within the industry and there appears to be plenty of sheep farmers, farm managers and even markets that know little or nothing about the new system. There are even more people who are confused about what ARAMS is and what benefits it offers.
ARAMS is the new system for sheep farmers to notify sheep, goat & deer movements. No more sending AML1 forms to your local Trading Standards, instead producers must notify ARAMS at their Milton Keynes office. The first thing to clarify is that AML1 forms must accompany sheep, goats and deer on all movements (a slightly modified version of the form will be released) as they do presently. Notifying ARAMS can be done via mail and fax as usual or via two new methods; firstly a new website run by ARAMS and secondly via your Farm Software Provider such as our highly recommended Farm Matters.
ARAMS is definitely a good idea for inspectors and legislative bodies like RPA with all movements recorded in a central location in a standardised format. But will it benefit farmers? Maybe! Since an AML1 must still accompany all movements little will change in the practicalities of moving sheep, goats and deer. The benefits will be more from a record keeping & reporting perspective. You will now be able to record and notify movements in a single step using electronic notifying rather than keeping the required records and then posting/faxing a copy to Trading Standards. Unfortunately the electronic reporting system is not as straight forward as good old BCMS. Whereas BCMS simply requires you to notify an on or off regardless of where cattle are being moved from/to, ARAMS take a different approach.
- You cannot record movements to store or slaughter markets, it is the markets responsibility to record this
- On movements should not be notified rather you must confirm on movements from a list downloaded from ARAMS
- However on movements where you are also recording the off movement should be notified in full to ARAMS
Our research leads us to believe initially most sheep farmers are not going to use electronic reporting and instead stay with the tried and tested methods of fax and mail. Some farmers will benefit from ARAMS while most will wonder ‘What am I gaining?’; the answer unfortunately is not a great deal.