Last week, Farmers Weekly reported again on the slow down with data input to Defra's new computer system, and its consequences both to farmers, staff and taxpayers. Warmwell reports :
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's system has broken down and vital paperwork approving the movement of cattle has not been sent. Although applications for export health certificates are now being processed and consignments of calves in low TB incidence areas being able to move, calf exports from high TB incidence regions are not being processed. The AHVLA is an executive agency of DEFRA.
As cattle, including TB reactors, stack up farms while a couple of stiff fingers type test charts in, one laborious line at a time, AHVLA explain that they have "drafted extra staff in to input data manually". It would be churlish of us to point out that it may have helped if they had not sacked experienced admin staff to save on pensions, replacing them with untrained agency staff with little knowledge of veterinary terminology and even less interest. It would also have helped if the much vaunted SAM system could be directly accessed by LVI vets, instead of the 'manual input' referred to above. And it would have been really good if the original helpline number for vets using the system had connected with AHVLA, instead of a solicitor's office in Pall Mall.
Earlier reports on SAM from Farmers Weekly and Western Morning News are on these links. And we offer another glimpse at WMN's most excellent Comment which describes the reply from AHVLA to newspaper's point of frantic concerns of farmers snarled up in this unholy mess as :
"....anodyne and jargon-spattered response from the department, which talks about 'new functionality' [ snip] and seeks to paper over cracks rather than come clean about its shortcomings."
Farmers, AHVLA staff and taxpayers deserve better.