Defra today announced that due to 'irregularities' in the execution of the previous skin test, Dexter calf Mous'l Fern, belonging to Devon smallholder Sheilaigh Kremers was entitled to a second test to confirm his bTb status.
We told the story of Fern here:
We are delighted to hear this result, and congratulate Mrs. Kremers on her stance. Fern became a symbol of many other farmer's frustration at seeing their own cattle hauled off to slaughter, with no option but to let them go. And before anyone says: "Oh yes you had", may we point out that intense pressure has been applied in the past by Defra, to the buyers of milk and meat produced by farmers who tried to adopt Mrs. Kremers' postion. In other words, their buyers refused to buy. Latterly, we hear pressure via the Single Farm Payment has been applied as well - this from an Irish contact. Quite uniquely, Mrs. Kremers had no leverage along those lines, which Defra could apply and Fern was granted his second test.
BBC Spotlight carries the story here:
Mrs. Kremers accepts that if this second test is conducted in the correct manner and her calf fails, then she has no option but to let him go for slaughter. We wish her well.