Defra have announced yet another raft of cattle measures which will affect beleaguered cattle farmers, particularly those on depressingly regular short interval 60 day tests.
Starting on January 1st 2014, any farmer even one day late in carrying out his TB test will find a swipe taken from his SFP (Single Farm Payment)- should he claim one. And already problems are coming to light.
Farmers on short interval or needing trace tests, have very little wriggle room, and they are finding that a two week shut down for vets and AHVLA staff over the Christmas and New Year break, means they cannot get a test booked inside AHVLA's computer generated time limit.
But if these tests are not completed, data from the AHVLA computer, in theory at least, (has anyone spoken to SAM - [link] recently?) will be transferred to the RPA computer and fines levied of between 1 - 5 percent.
For more information, here is Defra's TB testing interval information for 2014. - [link] And here is the wording -[link] of the latest notification.
Sadly we note that although several 'partners' are involved in the TB testing procedure, it is all down to 'the farmer' to make sure that 'the vet' can arrive within the time scale, that no computer glitches prevent the transfer of information between the various data systems and that all runs to plan and on time.
And if it does not, then it is up to 'the farmer' to appeal.
Guilty until proven innocent then?