Now I don't know about you, but I find that the movement book and the vet & med book is one of those jobs that gets left behind somewhat, and then when you need the thing for whatever reason, it's practically years out of date.
So having a very important vet visit today (more on that in another post), I thought I had better check that the things were up to date. It used to be that if you had a visit from the vet, especially the vets from the Ministry (MAFF, in the old days), they went through all this type of paperwork religiously, and having had it drilled into me at college about it's importance (my old college mates will back me up on this!) I set about the task.
Thankfully it wasn't far out of date, so the task wasn't so onerous. But it did get me thinking, is this just a job that is completely outdated and a waste of time? I understand the need for keeping medical records, for meat withdrawal purposes etc, but if you're like us here and don't use that many medicines unless absolutely necessary - welfare grounds etc, then you don't run the risk of tainting the meat before eating it. But the movement book seems rather a waste of time these days. Pigs are all done online now; cattle can be, but still need paperwork to follow them wherever they go; sheep are still followed by bits of paper, but even now they have electronic tags in their ears, although I wish someone would devise one that actually stayed in! The system is not foolproof by any means, cattle movements, like visiting the bull, means that the passport has to go with them, but then you have nothing at all to identify that the animal belongs to you, it's all done on trust. I do believe the whole system needs a complete overhaul, surely it can't be that difficult to identify each animal and follow its passage through life, can it? Should we go back to tattooing? At least that was permanent, ear tags never are! Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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