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Farm Assurance and other Official Visits


What is happening with farm assurance visits?


Red Tractor

From Wednesday 25th March, Red Tractor have suspended all physical inspections until further notice. In order to maintain certification and/or to maintain a Red Tractor Licence, the certification body will, in accordance with UKAS requirements and in line with BRCGS, require that an announced remote assessments/TC takes place.

The link to the updated position in the Covid-19 hub on the RTA website is here.
 
https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

QMS

This is a developing situation but QMS has advised members of its schemes that all face-to-face assessments have ceased from Wednesday 18 March.  A remote/desktop assessment programme will be implemented and will involve documents being submitted via post or e-mail. This will ensure that members certification continues seamlessly in these exceptional circumstances.   Businesses will then get their physical assessment in due course and when appropriate to ensure full certification. QMS are also suspending all quarterly vet visits and will put derogations in place for the quarterly vet reports that form part of the Pig Quality Assurance scheme. The priority for QMS is the health of farmers and vets at this time. Any queries for QMS should be directed at info@qmscotland.co.uk  

QMS have provided a coronavirus update on their website: https://www.qmscotland.co.uk/qms-coronavirus-update

RSPCA

RSPCA – Freedom Foods are currently running audits as normal.  NFUS has written to ask them to consider suspending visits at this time, given the stress farmers are currently under and in the poultry sector the additional current risks posed by Low Pathogenic Avian influenza.

Scottish Quality Crops

Scottish Quality Crops (SQC) have said that they will be doing audits remotely rather than through physical farm inspections. This will involve documents being submitted via post or e-mail to ensure that members certification continues in these exceptional circumstances. Businesses will then get their physical assessment in due course and when appropriate to ensure full certification.  For further details contact SQC directly.  See:  http://www.sqcrops.co.uk/find-sqc/

TB Testing

APHA have been looking at the contingency plans they need in place for TB testing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Prioritisation of certain types of TB tests may become necessary but there are currently no plans to cancel any statutory requirements for TB testing. APHA is continuing to monitor the situation, and adjustments to TB testing instructions may be made as appropriate.

Guidance can be found at: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/


 


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