A draft of a new animal identification system law

In the Tuesday meeting, the cabinet will discuss the bill on the identification and registration system for animals, according to the agenda of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers published on Monday.

The project developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aims to ensure uniform operation of the animal identification and registration system as an important link in the fight against infectious animal diseases. The consequence of the implementation of these provisions – as stated in the justification – will, inter alia, be the continuation by the Agency for the Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture (ARMA) of tasks related to the identification and registration of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, and starting data collection from animals of other species (ie deer, camelids) and poultry holdings whose identification and registration are required under the provisions of the EU Regulation.

The issuance of identification documents for equidae of individual breeds remains the responsibility of horse breeders’ associations recognized to maintain appropriate breeding books, which will transfer the data directly to the ARMA’s computer database.

The proposed provisions should allow the adaptation of the ARMA IT system to new tasks, including the database of the animal identification and registration system with the veterinary inspection systems (e.g. TRACES system) and other IT systems related to the protection of the animal health.

In addition, the proposed law introduces a provision that allows veterinarians, by decision, to eliminate unidentifiable animals of unknown origin, and thus of unknown health status, which pose a real threat to public and animal health.

The ability to eliminate unmarked animals will be an additional tool for veterinary inspection, especially in the fight against African swine fever (ASF). Until now, there was no legal basis in Polish law to eliminate animals whose origin could not be established from production (except for cattle). There were several thousand such reports every year.

The draft law introduces provisions that regulate: the registration of the locations of herds of livestock farmers; entities carrying out supervised activities; the method of animal identification, registration of animal incident reports in a single computer database containing comprehensive information on cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, equines, deer, camelids and poultry; rules for issuing a bovine passport and identification document for an equine animal; principles of record keeping by animal keepers or entities carrying out supervised activities.

Solutions of a national nature were also proposed, such as the revocation of passports for livestock in domestic circulation and the obligation to report events related to animals by keepers only in electronic form.

The new legal solutions apply to livestock farmers on farms with 333,781 cattle herds, 9,257 goats, 9,794 sheep herds and 102,657 pig herds on farms (as of the end of January 2021). On the other hand (as of June 30, 2021) more than 105 thousand people own about 324.7 thousand. horses.

The construction of the IT system at ARMiR will amount to: PLN 34 million, including in 2022: PLN 24 million and will be covered by the ARMA funds. The draft financial plan of the ARMA planned public expenditure of 120 thousand. PLN to fund activities related to the modernization of the ICT system to support the animal identification and registration system.

The authors of the draft proposed a long period of vacatio legis (until December 31, 2024), as they explain – this is to allow them to familiarize themselves with the new law and to take appropriate adaptation measures that will allow animal owners will enable the provisions of the law.

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