Farmers told to be 'extra vigilant' with Covid compliance

Increased sanitation and hygiene stations are needed on farms, Scottish government measures say
Increased sanitation and hygiene stations are needed on farms, Scottish government measures say

Farmers in Scotland should be 'extra vigilant' of new Covid-19 health and safety measures set out by the Scottish government in light of continuing restrictions.

Alongside making available increased sanitation and hygiene stations, producers need to keep a track and trace register, including full name and contact number of everyone who has been on farm.

Scottish farmers should also conduct a Covid-19 risk assessment, according to the new government regulations.

It comes as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducts inspections to a range of businesses, with the risk of action being taken in the case of non compliance.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) said farmers should complete a risk assessment identifying the on-farm measures that have been put in place to reduce transmission of Covid-19, alongside a track and trace log of everyone who has come onto the farm.

“There are steps that need to be taken to ensure that farmers are equipped to manage the risk associated with running a business during the pandemic and that those employed on farm are Covid-secure," said Alan Clarke, QMS chief executive.

“Protecting the health and welfare of our members during this time is our highest priority. Farmers understand disease transmission. Let’s use that knowledge to keep our people and livestock healthy and well-cared for every day."

Alongside these measures to help reduce transmission, QMS also recommended that a contingency plan be developed to ensure the welfare of stock is not compromised if family or staff become unwell.

A contingency plan will provide a clear, documented emergency plan which will highlight potential risks and a list of key contacts, the industry body added.

Kathryn Kerr, head of brands integrity at QMS said: “Having a plan in place will help members prepare for the unexpected and ensure that animal health and welfare standards can be maintained by all stakeholders as part of the ‘whole chain’ assurance scheme.”

The latest government guidelines, risk assessment and contingency plan template can be accessed via the QMS website.