Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ouessants in Somerset episode 3!

These ouessant sheep are very long suffering! They have to be as this morning bright and early not one but two DEFRA vets turned up to blood test them all. I had already taken 4 suffolk cross ewes to market in Taunton so a quick cup of tea and we were off. It took all of us plus the long suffering Pete (who had helped me catch the suffolks the night before when it was almost dark after I had trouble trying to persuade the sheep to leave their nice field and get in the trailer with a villagers dog sharling and barking the otherside of the lane from the gate!) to pen up the Ouessants who obviously have the same thoughts as me on officialdom!
Two had already lost both eartags they came from France with and so we retagged them with their new UK inmport tags which have the usual UK plus 6 numbers unique to me on one side and the sheeps unique number plus .F eg UK234567/202.F. Some of the sheep now have 3 tags in one very tiny ear!......we are apparently not allowed to remove the French tags even though they have a new identity.....hmm we will see!
Blood testing then commenced.............
Sheep were held at the correct angle and needle and phial inserted......nothing! Vet tries again with same result.....and this is how it continued untilall sheep looked like pin cusions and the vets had.....wait for it.......3 large phials of blood from each animal. It took 3 hours and the sheep and me were right cheesed off by the end, I think it is diabolical that as well as a phial to test for blue tongue they also took 2 further samples to test for brucellosis and contagious agalactia...... France and GB are apparently free of both these diseases so what the bl##dy h#ll are they taking such a lot of blood for!! mind boggles!
Well now we wait for the results....back next week..........and then wait until the 4th January when, if they haven't decided to throw the book at me some of the sheep can go to their new homes as only 4 are staying to join my flock of Ouessants

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