Friday, December 15, 2017

Singing from the same hymn sheet

It seemed a simple enough question. But drew a raft of answers, many totally incorrect, from people who should know the answer.

 After cattle have tested clear, and providing that the herd is not under restriction for TB, then in many areas of England, farmers have just 60 days in which to trade them. But when does the clock start ticking?

 One of our contributors had occasion to ascertain this date recently. And he received some surprising answers.

 From an NFU spokeman, '60 days from reading day' : so 60 days after the test is read?

This marked a change from past practise, so our contributor then phoned the newly hatched TB Advisory service - [link] and was given the same answer by telephone. 60 days from the reading of the test.

Not content with this answer either, the facts were requested in writing, and an APHA booklet -[link] appeared in his in-box. Page 5 is the relevant information to answer the question, and it states:

 "Pre movement tests are valid for 60 days (from the date of the injection, which is day zero of the 60 day period)".
So the 60 days starts from jab day, but begins the day after the tuberculin antigen is given?

 Not according the blumph on the TB Hub - [link] advisory service website. This states:

 "Clear pre-movement test results are valid for 60 days from the date of injection (day one of the test)".

Being charitable that 'day one' mention may be construed as the first part of a two part test. But it may also be construed as the day the 60 day movement window begins. It's a fudge.

 Farmers' BPS payments depend upon having clear knowledge of their responsibilities for testing of cattle and following these to the letter, with threats of substantial deductions for non-compliance.
So, it is a damned disgrace disappointing that the verbal information sought was so very wrong, and two NFU or Government backed websites contradictory.

It would be helpful if all these advisers were singing from the same hymn sheet, but the paucity of correct information on this very basic question, indicates the people offering it are not even in the same choir.

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