A group of farmers have criticised the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) for causing up to five-week delays on barcode stickers.
Speaking on the Farming Forum, about half a dozen farmers questioned the reasons behind the extended response time, with some suggesting the summer holidays were responsible and others saying there was an 18-day backlog on the email inbox.
Others slammed the breakdown of a ‘working day’ as inclusively Monday to Friday.
“I am waiting for 105 passports,” a Weston-super-mare farmer said. “I was told we were 10 days post application- 10 working days is a fortnight to us.”
Another added: “Being unable to register, get stickers and receive passports leaves me unable to trade as well as incurring extra cost for keeping.
“As I draw my living exclusively from agriculture, why should I stand this loss of income caused by a third party?”
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which oversees the BCMS and the Cattle Trading Standards (CTS) said when considering the complaints from a wider context, it struggled to see a significant issue.
The latest annual report confirmed the BCMS hit all key performance indicators in 2016/17 with more than 98 per cent of cattle births, deaths and movements recorded within agreed deadlines and 2.7 million cattle passports processed.
It said farmers with a desperate request should visit the CTS online contacts page and mark any pressing emails as urgent.
An RPA spokesman added: “We aim to respond to BCMS emails within 10 working days but a very small number can take longer than this. We are working through these as quickly as possible.”