Contact persons:

 Mr Reuben Montebello
Principal Veterinary Support Officer
 Telephone
+356 22925346
 Email
reuben.montebello@gov.mt
 Mr Joseph Zammit
Principal Veterinary Support Officer
 Telephone
+356 22925120
 Email
joseph.h.zammit@gov.mt

Animal Register Section - National Livestock Database

The Databases Section is responsible for the development and maintenance of the various software systems within the Animal Health & Welfare Section. These systems are kept in line with EU and National Legislation.

Various systems were developed and set up, such as:-
  • The National Livestock Database - the official animal database. 
  • Intra Trace - Database for records for intra community trade. 
  • Inter Trace - Database for records for international trade.

The National Livestock Database is the database adopted by Malta for the identification and registration of bovine animals pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000. The EU Commission officially recognised the database for bovine animals as fully operational in Malta from 1st May 2004.

The National Livestock Database holds data on Malta's livestock population, including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, equidae and pet animals such as dogs and cats. The Government is required by EU regulations to keep this information, which includes data on traceability, animal health, food safety and animal welfare. There are a number of government departments within different Ministries connected to the database, including all of the offices of the Veterinary Regulation Directorate.

The database was developed by the Government in co-operation with The Veterinary Epidemiology Unit at The University of Reading, UK.

The cattle tracing system has been recognized by the European Commission as being "fully-operational" according to the requirements of EU regulations. Malta is the only member state to have achieved this recognition. It means that we do not have to use the printed cattle passports required in every other member state. Moreover, farmers do not have to apply for payments under the cattle subsidy schemes: payments are generated automatically according to the information in the database. This results in significant savings of cost and paperwork for the Government and farmers.

To maintain the benefits of EU recognition, it is essential that the records in the database are kept up to date and accurate, and that farmers promptly notify the Veterinary Regulation Directorate of animal births, movements and deaths.

Over the years, the functionality of this database continued to become more sophisticated with other areas included in the remit of controls of the Directorate. Apart from all the farm animals registered, there is also the registration of all dogs in Malta on this database, in line with L.N. 199/2011 and this is done by private veterinarians through their clinics on behalf of their clients. The database also accepts the registration of all pet passports issued in Malta by private veterinarians through their clinics, for all dogs, cats and ferrets. There is also the registration of all equidae, such as horses and donkeys, and whenever requested an official document is issued on the animal registered as per legislation in force. 

The database also caters for the regulatory function of the Trade Unit, particularly the Border Inspection Posts, where substantial investment has been done in development in this area so that all consignments of veterinary interest are scrutinised by the system in relation to automatic data download and further cross-checking with other third party information systems such as Customs data and EU data. 

The database also caters for the operational side of the main public abattoir, where it keeps a log and issues traceability information for all animals slaughtered. These established procedures all follow local and EU legislation.

Client program

The main user interface for the database in Malta is a client program InterTrace. Only registered users of the system can access the database through this program by means of a database user name and password. They must also be authenticated to the CORP domain. Permissions to control the types of data that are available or editable to each database user are controlled by the Administrator.

All database records are stamped with date, time, user and workstation of the most recent modification or discontinuation.

A user-defined document generator allows production of official documents, such as animal passports, movement permits, health certificates and licences.