MEMBERS of SRUC’s Premium Sheep and Goat Health Scheme (PSGHS) have been reassured that there will be continuity of the scheme in spite of the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on blood testing.
George Caldow, head of SRUC veterinary services said: “We understand the vital importance that flock health status has for the sales later this year, both for members selling stock and also for clients who look to buy great genetics in healthy animals from flocks that are accredited free of disease.
“Right now, farm animal vets are actively discouraged from visiting farms to collect blood samples unless they are of immediate value to manage animals that are unwell or where their welfare may be compromised.
“This means that routine periodic blood tests cannot be carried out. We have consulted with our PSGHS Advisory board and agreed a course of action.
“To manage the gap in testing, we will maintain flock accreditation status and issue certificates based on a signed declaration from the flock keeper that the rules of the programme are and will be followed. There will be no requirement to blood sample and test animals until such time as the restrictions to sampling at the farm are removed.
“When routine testing is resumed, members whose tests have been delayed will be given a three-month period in which to have blood sampling and testing completed. Their certification status will be maintained during this period and we will maintain clear communication with our members on the changing requirements.”