Italian Animal Husbandry 4.0, the integrated farm animal health database project


Italian animal husbandry 4.0, namely ‘Computerized animal husbandry for healthy breeding, from Model 4 to electronic prescription. A European medical record?‘ Animal husbandry and animal health general states meet May 26, 2017, in Padua, Italy. To draw the lines of a pilot project that will be able to distinguish even better the Made in Italy supply chain in the European landscape.
We discuss this with Fabrizio De Stefani, director of the Food Hygiene Veterinary Service at ULSS Company No. 7 Veneto – Pedemontana, conference moderator.
‘The opportunity comes to us with the imminent introduction of the new computerized Model IV,’ explains Fabrizio De Stefani. ‘The document that in Italy accompanies animals as they move from farm to farm or to slaughterhouse. The ‘pink sheet,’ in its original version, where the breeder reported the registry details of the farm and animals. Including immunization or drug treatments administered in the past three months. As well as details of means of transport and driver taking charge of the animals. And in case of the presence in the territory of origin of infectious diseases, also the attestation of the health status of animals by the veterinary service of the ASL‘.
As of September 2017-according to a 2016 decree-the ‘pink sheet’ is to give way to the digital version. That at the stage of sending the animals to the slaughterhouse, it should also report the food chain information, so-called ICA.

‘Food chain information’
, De Stefani continues,‘is relevant to both food safety and animal welfare.’ They in fact include:
– The health status of the farm of origin, or the health status of the regional territory, with regard to animals,
– The health condition of the animals,
– veterinary medicines administered and other treatments to which animals were subjected within a given period (with a withdrawal time of more than zero days), as well as the dates of administrations and treatments. And of the related suspension times,
– The presence of diseases that could possibly affect the safety of the meat;
– The results, where relevant to the protection of public health, of all tests performed on samples taken from the animals. Or on other samples collected for the purpose of diagnosing diseases that could affect meat safety. Including samples taken as part of monitoring and control on zoonoses and residues,
– information about inspections, ante and post-mortem, on animals from the same holding of origin. Including reports from the official veterinarian,
– data on livestock production, if the presence of a disease can be inferred from them,
– The name and address of the private veterinarian who usually assists the home farm.
An extraordinary amount of news, the Big Data of animal husbandry. But how to handle them? The transition to the digital format foreshadows complexities of no small magnitude at the initial stage. Farmers will need to become familiar with computer tools that are not exactly smart. And public veterinarians will come to terms with different management systems from one region to another. But every problem can be seen as an opportunity, and so it is from the Veneto that the revolutionary idea, or disruptive as the British would say, is launched.
To implement the first integrated farm animal health information system in Italy, under the control of health authorities. ‘The idea‘ – resumes Fabrizio De Stefani – ‘is to converge into a single database every piece of information relevant to the health and welfare of every animal raised in our country. And prospectively, also data from animals arriving from other EU member states. The database will make it possible to extract in real time and in the easiest way all the news required by European and international regulations, for the purpose of exports.’
The integrated database of Italian animal husbandry 4.0 can thus ensure the highest level of transparency in the entire course of the ‘origin Italy’ supply chain. (1) A national seal of quality, the Italian Meat Seal, from stable to table, guaranteed by the most widespread public veterinary services on the planet. With further prospects for meat certification, based on production specifications approved by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy or the regions.
The system may then be proposed at the European level, where the establishment of an integrated information system is planned. (2) TheInformation Management System for Official Controls (IMSOC), where all information systems currently used in the EU to certify animal and plant health will converge. (2)
Dario Dongo



(1) In addition to solving the problems of fragmentation of the registry systems still in use in the various regions
(2) See reg. EU 429/2016 and reg. EU 625/2017