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"You need to be intelligent to be a farmer today, but if you are intelligent, you wouldn't be farming" - David

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Just a quick rant - Bloody Bureaucrats, pen pushing, useless, ignorant idiots!!

I have just had two of my cull cows rejected by some civil service idiot at the abattoir. Get any of the paperwork wrong and bang, there goes your payment. There is so much checking and paperwork to do to sell any animals these days. Long gone are the days when you took your cattle to market and waited for the cheque to arrive. Now you have to get a haulier because the distances are too far for the old Landrover and trailer plus cleansing and disinfecting can hold you up for 4 hours.

In order to "sell" a cull cow you also need:

1. A licence
2. All stock must be correctly tagged (many lose their tags)
3. Passport and or CTS (Cattle Transfer Certificate)
4. An Intervention Board OTM17 form correctly filled out and signed only by a person a approved to sign.
5. Red marks on each animal (last time they wanted at least two arrows painted on each cow pointing towards the head)

I get a bloody letter today saying that I omitted the herd number on two of the 5 cows my OTM17 form. As all my cows have the same herd number (part of the numbers on each tag), I put ditto marks for the last two. Well that's it -no payment unless I write a letter of appeal and wait another six months or whatever.

Never mind it will keep a few officials and the post office in business for a bit longer!

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I just like moaning about all the officials who get paid out of the Agricultural support budget. If the taxpayers money actually arrived at the correct destination it wouldn't be so bad. It needs to get to the farmers to enable them to continue to sell food at below the cost of production, not end up in the pockets of bureaucrats.

I phoned the intervention Board Helpline on 0118 9531 687 and they tried to put me thru to the person who deals with payments associated with my particular abattoir. There was no reply (lunch break, they said) so the switch board gave me the number to try direct but I could not get an answer either. I tried on and off from 12.45am until 4.30 pm and eventually a girl answered the phone. She went to get the person I needed to talk to and it turned out the Helpline had been trying the wrong number! - it was one digit out. The phone I was ringing all day was "just across the corridor".

Anyway, the lady suggested I amend the copy of the OTM17 form that had been sent to me, sign it and fax it to her personally. My bloody phone number is on the OTM17 form - why didn't they call me? We now wait in anticipation. She said they had tightened up on ditto marks but I said I had not been informed that ditto marks had been banned - I have been using ditto marks for my herd number in movement books etc for 28 years now. Who wants to write UK GH0315 / ..... hundreds of time when it is not necessary?

By the way my herd number used to be GH315 from 1972 until 1996 when MAFF changed it to GH0315 and later it got changed to UK GH0315. I have some cows with each of those numbers but you don't get paid if you put in or leave out an "0" or a "UK" if it is not required. Now, how many herds could they be getting me muddled up with???!!!!!!!! And remember for each cow there is an official CTS certificate or passport with the herd number boldly printed accompanying the cow on its journey.

David

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