Case Studies

Electronic animal movement licensing for pigs (eAML2)

The initial development of eAML2 built an industry leading animal movement system, putting real-time data at the fingertips of key stakeholders and government. System enhancements delivered since launch provide real business benefits for producers and the wider pork sector.

About eAML2

The eAML2 system was proposed as a replacement for the existing paper-based AML2 form used by pig keepers to record movements and report these movements to their local authority. The core requirement was to provide electronic movement reporting bringing industry wide advantages offered by the availability of timely and accurate movement data in disease outbreak situations.

Prior to 2009
Our relationship with AHDB began with a service to manage data handling for the Zoonoses National Control Programme (ZNCP). We developed an online system which engaged pig farmers, laboratories, veterinarians and abattoirs to support the ZNCP scheme. Farmers used the system to download labels for meat juice samples which were gathered at abattoir and sent to laboratories for testing. Results were automatically delivered back to farmers and their veterinarians allowing for proactive action plans to be put in place and combat disease.

The success of the ZNCP system clearly demonstrated the benefits of using online systems to gather data and deliver that data to relevant stakeholders. As a result, it was identified that a similar approach could be used to support the statutory requirement to gather Food Chain Information (FCI) declarations alongside pigs being sent to slaughter.

We worked with AHDB and industry to develop a service that allowed farmers to make their FCI declaration online and the data was then pre-notified to the abattoir the night before. The service integrated with the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) to deliver CCIR (Collection and Communication of Inspection Results) data gathered by inspectors at abattoir direct to farmers,
supporting better disease monitoring and improving herd quality.

These two systems showed how engaging industry and making wider benefits integral to the system design ensured the successful uptake of a system gathering statutory data. And thus, sowed the seeds of a vision for the online movement system that would become eAML2.

2008 to 2011 - Initial Development

In 2008, we were commissioned by AHDB to produce an electronic animal movement system for the pig sector under contract from Animal Health. At the time most of the UK's animal movement recording systems remained paper-based. They were expensive to operate, produced poor quality data, and information was slow to reach government. eAML2 was designed to address these issues for moving pigs in England and Wales.

The strategy behind the delivery from the outset was to work closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure the system would work across the industry. We participated in regular working groups where key benefits to each of the parties were identified and a number of value-added services were built to promote uptake and engagement.

These included:


  • Email delivery of movement reports and FSA CCIRs
  • SMS services for confirming batches and reporting farm to farm movements
  • Third-party reporting options for non-IT enabled producers


  • Opportunities to report movements on behalf of farmers using digital pen and paper
  • Real-time departure and unloading alerts to office staff by email and SMS

Marketing/Corporate Groups

  • Electronic booking and consignment management interface
  • Opportunity to report movements on behalf of their farmers
  • Electronic access to assurance information and CCIRs Markets and Collection Centres

Full integration with existing internal IT systems

  • Improved electronic management of FCI and movement documents
  • Electronic access to assurance information


  • Full integration with existing internal IT systems
  • Improved electronic management of FCI and movement documents
  • Electronic access to assurance information and CCIRs

Commercial Software Suppliers

  • Web service and email gateway for reporting or receiving combined movements and FCI
  • Electronic access to assurance information
  • Opportunity to integrate movement reporting and assurance features into products

Assurance Schemes

  • Opportunity for verification of standstill and residency rules
  • Delivery of assurance information as part of movement reporting
  • Future infrastructure for whole life assurance checking

Government (local authorities, FSA, Defra, APHA, devolved administrations)

  • Improved data quality and real time access to movement and FCI information
  • Validated data feeds into other government systems
  • Single point of contact with industry for data collection and management
  • Electronic distribution of electronic CCIRs back to producers and FBOs
  • Seamless integration with Scottish movement system managing cross-border movements

As the FCI service was already operating in industry, we proposed that eAML2 be developed as a series of modules built on to the existing system. This meant functionality could be delivered early on in the programme and immediately available for use by early adopters. This allowed for an agile approach to the build and ensured the service was already delivering for a large group of users prior to online reporting becoming compulsory in April 2012.

2012 - Pig Hub Development

Following the success of eAML2, FCI and ZNCP, services with an increased emphasis on online contact with users, it was felt that the primary method of collecting industry related data from these stakeholders should now be directly via the internet.

By encouraging the use of online services, we could address issues of accuracy, timeliness and concerns over data protection as relevant permissions could be requested directly from the data owner. To this aim, we proposed development of the ‘Pig Hub’ as a central online portal for direct reporting of industry information with an underlying database which could provide a central view of this data. The Pig Hub would also integrate with third-party services via APIs, ensuring key data could be prepopulated and cut down on administration time for users.

The initial Pig Hub was delivered in 2012 offering services for producers, vets, abattoirs, corporates, marketing groups, markets and government and revolutionised the way online services were delivered in the pig sector.

2013 to date - Continuous Programme of Service Enhancements

Since their initial development both eAML2 and Pig Hub have gone from strength to strength, with a continuous programme of enhancements being developed and delivered to services users. Highlights of the development programme include:

New online movement reports for local authorities

We held a series of working groups with representatives from local authorities, Defra and ADHB and devised a set of new online reports to help local authorities better monitor and manage users failing to meet legislative requirements.

AHDB CRM integration

AHDB implemented a new CRM system using Microsoft Dynamics. As the Pig Hub is the primary data source for the pig industry, integration was required to provide data from Pig Hub on a regular basis in order to keep the CRM updated.

Country of origin statement on eAML2

An update to the configuration of eAML2 was implemented to ensure compliance with new EU legislation that required abattoirs to substantiate on-pack country of origin claims.