May 15 ~"How learned and considered are the comments of Sheila Crispin and Janet Bradshaw on SI 843
against Lord Whitty's disgruntled posturings. (What exactly are his qualifications anyway - scientific or political?)" writes an emailer this evening. "SI 843 is potentially a very nasty piece of work and I am surprised that the RCVS is reported as being "relaxed" about it for the following reason.
If you look through the document, mention is made specifically of a "Veterinary Inspector" when any diagnostic action is stipulated. However the "slash & burn" type provisions only provide for an "Inspector" (who may, or may not, be a vet). Diagnosis of disease is the perogative of vets, but merely turning up at a farm and working out what is a cow or a sheep could be performed by anyone off the dole queue given a DEFRA badge! Vets tend to be expensive and many are having inconvenient ethical objections to slaughtering healthy animals, particularly in a "genetic cleansing" exercise which has little, if any, scientific basis. How much more convenient then to downsize the SVS even further....
The Government says it wants farmers to be competitive on the global stage but ties their hands at every turn. Every piece of legislation increases costs and paperwork. Presumably most flock owners will have seen that document concerning the ear tagging of sheep? I got as far as the first page, concluded that our individually numbered animals were probably OK and gave up! Whilst the UK public is swamped with cheap imported meat, some of which is of perhaps questionable standard, our own product is costed out of existence, or subjected to scaremongering by the very Government that should be promoting it! Indeed, Mr Morley doesn't need our sheep,,, or cattle or pigs for that matter!!
If SI 843 cannot be stopped, one can only hope that the powers will prove too expensive to use in the way that we fear. Otherwise, I suppose we all have to consider just how much we are prepared to put up with and formulate our own "Plan Bs".
Finally, may I share with you a definition I chanced upon in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary: - "Terrorism - government by intimidation". My case rests....".