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Tibbs & Simmons Farm Vets – Updated COVID 19 Policy 26th March 2020

COVID-19 policies in the UK are evolving daily and as a practice we are adapting our policies to reflect the advice from the Government, and our Unions.

Office / Drug Collections

We have had to shrink our office staff to try and protect those at highest risk. As such we are operating reduced opening hours from 9am till 4pm Monday to Friday. Please bear with us if the phone isn’t answered immediately. It is absolutely essential that you ring ahead to order medicines; preferably 24 hours in advance. Please be aware that our supply chain is already experiencing disruption so we cannot guarantee stock will necessarily be available by the following day. We are carrying plenty of regular stock currently but this may well change. Please make yourself known to reception on arrival and we will pass you your order. We have dropped signing of order notes for now. Please respect the 2m rule at all times.

We have our lock boxes available for your convenience outside of our revised office hours. Our vets are essentially working from home to try and avoid contact with each other as much as possible so we may require 48hrs to get medicines to Stanton Drew, Kingston Seymour or Summer Lane.

Farm Visits

Food production is a key sector in this crisis and we will continue to provide all Veterinary support required to keep food production going. This includes fertility treatment, treating ill and injured animals and 24-hour emergencies. We have been advised to delay procedures that are not time-critical and will not adversely affect Animal Welfare.

We all need to make an effort to social distance and this applies to our Vets visiting your farm, we need to protect you and any highly vulnerable family as well as protecting our vet team and their family so we can continue to provide care for your animals. If you are self-isolating then please let us know and we can communicate by phone if necessary if the cow is by the crush we can cope! For ease of comparison, the average cow is 2.45m long so if we stay a cow length apart, we should be OK! We politely ask that you respect this policy even if you choose to put yourself at risk.

TB

There has been an awful lot of debate about whether TB testing should continue. Last time testing was suspended was during Foot and Mouth in 2001. This resulted in a large surge in cases subsequently. For this reason, the Government is keen that we continue. That said they do not want to put human health at risk so there needs to be adequate social distancing when carrying out the test. If you are self-isolating then it may be that we need to delay the test. APHA have allowed some flexibility on testing dates where it is either impossible to maintain a safe working distance or there is a staff shortage due to COVID 19. These circumstances are being dealt with on a case by case basis. We have had clarification that there will be an amnesty on RPA penalties for the time being on these tests where the APHA have been informed.