As part of Defra's crack down on the cattle side of bovine tuberculosis, (the only side they are taking any action on whatsover) from February 15th. any routine test which was overdue - even by one day - triggered a movement restriction. Farmers would be given 2 - 3 months prior warning of an impending test, and it was up to them to book the test before the due date with their veterinary surgeon.
We have no problem with that.
But in its first week of operation, an overstretched SVS apparantly 'farmed out' this work to an agency. Up to 4000 letters of restriction landed on farm doormats on Monday morning. Devon alone received 400, and one in particular has been flagged high. Richard Haddock had tested his cattle mid January - but received a movement restriction on February 21st.
Defra's switchboards were jammed, and enquirers told "It's chaos". By midweek, letters removing most of the restriction notices had been filed - and posted to the appropriate addresses.
What part of the Tb budget did that little lot come out of?