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Animal Health Scheme


icepick239
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Yeah I was a bit puzzled why he came to that decision but will reading the paper this week to see if they print anymore on the subject.

 

I'm another that doesn't know the whole ins and outs of the situation regarding imports and sometimes all it takes is someone adding another "hoop" to jump through for it to be the "straw that broke the camels back"

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A few points to remember, the "scheme" is voluntary, its only worth as much as those who run it "sell" it to potential isle's bred livestock buyers, the Government etc, where it may have value. And how much value outsiders put in it. Whether that side of it has been fully pursued, or whether the value outsiders see in it, is worth the hassle, is probably always going to be a subject where folk have to agree to disagree.

 

Notwithstanding that there may have been changes made in its operation since I last reviewed how it ran, its been a few years admittedly. Participation in this "scheme" is not by choice, its by default, if you import a farm animal, it, and you will be in the "scheme", from pierhead inspection, ongoing regular inspections on your premises etc, unless you choose to "opt out".

 

The main point that I see is that, just because those who run the "scheme" say the guy in question is not complying with their scheme, and as a result they cannot vouch for his livestock. Does not necessarily mean his livestock is any less tested and monitored than those within the scheme. There is every possibility that his livestock may well be tested an monitored to a superior level than those in the scheme, as there is that it is less so.

 

Those behind the scheme are performing damage limitation here, for whatever their scheme was worth, by no longer being able to claim 100% coverage, it is now worth considerably less all round. They are fighting for their baby, and the "Times" report should be read in that light, as it is pretty much all from their side. To be honest, the report reads like the writer really had no clue about their subject matter, and just paraphrased what they'd gotten in interviews etc from the pro-scheme people.

 

There is a level of ambiguity in the "Times" report, those behind the scheme claim the guy in question "left" the scheme but no details are provided. The guy himself claims he hasn't left the scheme. By reading between the lines the impression is gotten that somewhere at some time he has failed to comply with some inspection that the "scheme" has requested they do, so as far as they're concerned he's left the scheme by default. This may or may not be the case, as it is only supposition based on what little is actually said, and not enough, in my mind at least, to base a judgement call on whether it was the scheme people being unreasonable, the guy being unreasonable, or for that matter if what occured was reasonable grounds to to consider his non-compliance was adequate grounds for ejection from the scheme.

 

Remember, its only a voluntary scheme, and worth, what? Yes, its a very worthwhile and laudable goal to enhance animal health, but agriculture is business with a bottom line too. If the expenditure and man hours written off to this scheme is not returned via the sale ring with profit, the whole thing becomes dubious, if the expenditure and man hours written off equal or exceed what would be written off if these diseases were of similar status in Shetland as they are elsewhere, why bother?

 

That said, I did find the report, if accurate, that the guy in question justified whatever action(s) he'd taken that has led to this, as being a protest against livestock transport laws, and being refused to transport his livestock on his own trailer on the boat, rather baffling. I don't see the connection, or how any one can have a bearing on the other.

 

Omissions and questions aplenty, answers, very few.

 

And just for the record, I am not the guy in question, have never met the guy in question, nor ever visited his place. Just amazed, and disgusted at the sheer mountain or regulations and paperwork at local, national and international level that has suddenly appeared in the last 30 years since I first started having anything to do with agriculture.

 

In fairness the majority of it originates in Brussels, but is aided abetted and wonderfully decorated upon in Westminster and Edinburgh, before it gets to us its a nightmare. Between one thing and another there is now so much in agriculture that not only are folk told what they can or can't do, they're also told exactly how it must be done, or else.... That I can fully understand why someone would choose to walk away from whatever rules they could, if they did not see the point and/or payback of them.

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