The challenges that animal health and the agri-food industry are faced with on a daily basis have become increasingly complex over the years. Animal welfare, the consumption of medicinal products, the slaughterhouse intended as an epidemiological observatory and biosafety with all related health risks are more and more connected and require a more integrated approach. Moreover, the dramatic proportions of phenomena like antibiotic resistance are such that it is essential to plan preventive actions, which can no longer be postponed. 

Even public awareness of these issues has been growing exponentially, determining and orienting purchases and consumption. It is therefore necessary to protect the consumer by providing access to correct and verified information, so that better informed choices can be made.   

In such a complex framework, the Directorate General of Animal Health and Veterinary Medicines of the Ministry of Health has developed a number of innovations, moved by the need and the ambition to adapt the public veterinary system to the new challenges of animal health and welfare and to the consumers’ needs.

In the last few years, the Directorate General has implemented a new information system named ClassyFarm, which allows to categorize the farm according to the risk, using harmonized and scientifically validated methods with the utmost transparency imposed to the competent Authority when carrying out the official control activity.

ClassyFarm is an Italian innovation and the result of a project wanted and financed by the Ministry of Health and developed by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna in cooperation with the University of Parma.

It is available to official veterinarians, farm veterinarians and farmers whose task is to monitor and analyze data and address actions on the farm in order to ensure compliance with the recent community legislation on Animal Health Law and Official Controls.

In this way, the system allows to improve and facilitate cooperation and dialogue between farmers and the competent Authority with a view to raising the safety and quality level of the agri-food products, strengthening the prevention of animal diseases and the fight against antimicrobial resistance and making the official controls carried out by the competent Authorities more effective. At the same time, it provides farmers with the conditions to improve and strive for excellence.

ClassyFarm is included in the national veterinary website (www.vetinfo.it) and allows to find and process data relating to the following assessment areas:

  • biosafety
  • animal welfare
  • health and production parameters
  • animal feeding
  • antimicrobial consumption
  • lesions found at the slaughtherhouse

The new platform processes the data collected by the competent Authority during official controls, those made available by the systems already used and those resulting from self-control, which are voluntarily provided by the food business operator raising food-producing animals and entered into the system by the farm veterinarian, as laid down in the Decree of the Ministry of Health of December 7, 2017.

In this context, the veterinarian represents the interface between the competent Authority and the food business operator, supporting the latter in the strategic management of the farm in order to improve animal health and welfare based on the risk level detected by ClassyFarm. 

ClassyFarm is an opportunity for farmers who will choose to join the system. Even the smallest farms will have the opportunity to have an overview of their own “status”.

Joining the system is however voluntary. Farms registered in the NDB that will not join it shall be categorized according to the risk, considering at least the information resulting from the official control activity and made available through the information systems already used, with the exclusion of farms for self-consumption and family farms.

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Data di pubblicazione: 2 maggio 2019, ultimo aggiornamento 2 maggio 2019

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