AHVLA's Regional Operations Director (or ROD) in the SW and based at Exeter
We are assured that the acronym stands for nothing at all, but many farmers and AH staff on the receiving end of its ongoing indigestion could invent a few words - Sodding Awful Machine is one more polite suggestion offered. In an interview, Mr. Yates offered to help out any farmer with problems.
The fact that most of us couldn't get within a mile of him is neither here nor there... but we digress. Mr Yates has gone. Left, as in disappeared ... gawn. It is said that he may have rejoined his previous employer, the British Army, called to the colours to do battle with them in forin parts.
Now that is scary. Surely a cosy seat in AHVLA, talking (or not) to cattle farmers whose main concern is the health and welfare of their animals, is preferable to facing a Taliban fighter waving an AK summat, or an RPG wotsit launcher in his face?
Or perhaps when the latest tranch of cattle measures hit farmers and there is no sign of a parallel policy to control badgers, there may be no difference at all. But then, hell hath no fury like a cattleman scorned. It could be safer where he's going.