Abolish the legal requirement to submit Animal Movement Documents

Movement licences were introduced during the 2001 outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease. No animal was permitted to be moved without a licence. Extra staff had to be employed by Local Authorities to deal with the enormous quantity of paperwork generated. I doubt if these civil servants have ever been laid off and, to keep themselves busy, Movement Documents have not been scrapped.

Anyone moving sheep or goats is required to submit a form, in quadruplicate (yes – really…FOUR copies), to the appropriate Local Authority within three days of the animal movement. I seriously doubt if any use has ever been made of the staggering amount of data that has been collected on sheep and goat movements and I doubt if it ever will.

The fact is that, prior to the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak, animals were moved around freely, without any associated bureaucracy and without any problems. Diseases such as Foot & Mouth will be spread by animal movements but they are not caused by animal movements. Therefore, there is no justification for the government to monitor movements when no disease is present in the country. The refusal of the government to remove this ‘red tape’ is an example of politicians’ mania for absolute control and desire to micro-manage every aspect of the agricultural industry.

Why is this idea important?

Movement licences were introduced during the 2001 outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease. No animal was permitted to be moved without a licence. Extra staff had to be employed by Local Authorities to deal with the enormous quantity of paperwork generated. I doubt if these civil servants have ever been laid off and, to keep themselves busy, Movement Documents have not been scrapped.

Anyone moving sheep or goats is required to submit a form, in quadruplicate (yes – really…FOUR copies), to the appropriate Local Authority within three days of the animal movement. I seriously doubt if any use has ever been made of the staggering amount of data that has been collected on sheep and goat movements and I doubt if it ever will.

The fact is that, prior to the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak, animals were moved around freely, without any associated bureaucracy and without any problems. Diseases such as Foot & Mouth will be spread by animal movements but they are not caused by animal movements. Therefore, there is no justification for the government to monitor movements when no disease is present in the country. The refusal of the government to remove this ‘red tape’ is an example of politicians’ mania for absolute control and desire to micro-manage every aspect of the agricultural industry.

Abolish legislation requiring farmers to maintain useless records

It is currently a legal requirement for livestock farmers to maintain an up to date record of all animal movements (I believe entries must be completed within 3 days of the movement or else…..!!). Also an Animal Medical Record Book must be kept. Both these must be presented for inspection by a civil servant every one to two years.

The Medical Record Book is particularly ridiculous. One must record such information as the date of administration of a medicine, the identity of the animal treated, when the latter might be sold and the name of the individual treating the animal. None of these things can be checked. None of these things matter to anyone. How does one identify the 324 sheep treated one week and the 534 treated a week later (or whatever)? Individual tag numbers – no thank you! That would take longer than the job of treating the flock in the first place.

The withdrawal period for the drug must also be entered. Obviously animals should not be sold for slaughter within the withdrawal period but if any farmer is so unscrupulous as to do so they are extremely unlikely to make a careful note of the fact in their Medical Record Book.

The date of purchase of a medicine must be entered. Does anybody give a toss on what day I might buy a can of antiseptic foot rot spray?  I think not!

Why is this idea important?

It is currently a legal requirement for livestock farmers to maintain an up to date record of all animal movements (I believe entries must be completed within 3 days of the movement or else…..!!). Also an Animal Medical Record Book must be kept. Both these must be presented for inspection by a civil servant every one to two years.

The Medical Record Book is particularly ridiculous. One must record such information as the date of administration of a medicine, the identity of the animal treated, when the latter might be sold and the name of the individual treating the animal. None of these things can be checked. None of these things matter to anyone. How does one identify the 324 sheep treated one week and the 534 treated a week later (or whatever)? Individual tag numbers – no thank you! That would take longer than the job of treating the flock in the first place.

The withdrawal period for the drug must also be entered. Obviously animals should not be sold for slaughter within the withdrawal period but if any farmer is so unscrupulous as to do so they are extremely unlikely to make a careful note of the fact in their Medical Record Book.

The date of purchase of a medicine must be entered. Does anybody give a toss on what day I might buy a can of antiseptic foot rot spray?  I think not!

Abolish the ban on the burial of fallen livestock on the farm

Abolish the legislation banning the disposal of dead livestock on the farm.

This legislation requires farmers to pay an abattoir to remove all carcases, even those of tiny lambs.

It is inconceivable that on-farm burial poses any health risk to humans. Anybody suggesting that there is such a risk is taking the Precautionary Principle to absurd and extreme lengths.

This is European legislation. I suggest that Britain either pulls out of the EU or gets a bit tougher in rejecting ludicrous legislation.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish the legislation banning the disposal of dead livestock on the farm.

This legislation requires farmers to pay an abattoir to remove all carcases, even those of tiny lambs.

It is inconceivable that on-farm burial poses any health risk to humans. Anybody suggesting that there is such a risk is taking the Precautionary Principle to absurd and extreme lengths.

This is European legislation. I suggest that Britain either pulls out of the EU or gets a bit tougher in rejecting ludicrous legislation.

Ear tagging and tracing sheep

Abolish all legislation concerned with monitoring the location of sheep. Tracing sheep is pointless, unnecessary, unachievable, time wasting, expensive and harmful to the ears of the animals. It is legislation designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats. These bureaucrats are parasites in our society.

There is no justification for this insane legislation. It is stated to be essential ‘in the event of a disease outbreak’ but it will do nothing to prevent disease or to control disease.

Farmers are now required to record the movement, not just of batches of sheep, but of individual sheep. Sheep are obliged to have a tag in each ear, inscribed with a unique number which must be entered onto a licence whenever the animal is moved. Many farmers have several thousand sheep.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish all legislation concerned with monitoring the location of sheep. Tracing sheep is pointless, unnecessary, unachievable, time wasting, expensive and harmful to the ears of the animals. It is legislation designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats. These bureaucrats are parasites in our society.

There is no justification for this insane legislation. It is stated to be essential ‘in the event of a disease outbreak’ but it will do nothing to prevent disease or to control disease.

Farmers are now required to record the movement, not just of batches of sheep, but of individual sheep. Sheep are obliged to have a tag in each ear, inscribed with a unique number which must be entered onto a licence whenever the animal is moved. Many farmers have several thousand sheep.