Advice for our members around the Coronavirus

Advice for our members around the Coronavirus

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Coronavirus

As of Monday 23 March, we will be temporarily suspending routine assessments and moving to a support-based phase. During this phase, we will only be conducting visits in the following circumstances:

  • to certify new applicants
  • to investigate complaints
  • to check members in special measures

Maintained biosecurity
Ensuring the safety of our members and assessors has always been important for us. 

So naturally, biosecurity and social distancing guidelines, as well as any local measures, will be adhered to during these visits.

Continued certification
Over the course of this interim phase, we will be continuing certification for members and supply chains and ensuring that the integrity and image of RSPCA Assured are maintained. Together with our certification body, we will be reviewing certificates in this interim period and will communicate directly with the members whose certificates are due to expire.

Since the outbreak of the virus in the UK we have been working closely with our certificating body, NSF and been operating based on the latest Government and PHE (Public Health England) advice - reviewing this advice on a daily basis.

31 March 2020

Advice if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 as a household
If you have livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, or any other types of livestock you should arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating to care for your animals.

Where this is not possible you should ensure the basic needs of your animals are met. You must make sure you wash your hands before and after handling your animals and ensure you remain 2 metres away from other people.

If you are too unwell to care for your animals and there is no one to help, you should call the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or your local authority.

Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus
You may leave your house to exercise once a day and you should combine this with leaving your house to provide care for your livestock.

It is essential that you minimise the time spent outside of the home and remain 2 metres away from others. You should remember to wash your hands before and after contact with any animals.

For more info: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals 

24 March 2020

Maintaining the security of your premises
We have recently been made aware that one of our members had his farm broken into and a large number of eggs stolen. We urge all of our members to be extra vigilant and double-check their security measures, during a time when sadly the theft of food products could potentially increase.

Increase in the public purchasing their own hens 
In response to fears about food supplies, we are aware there could be an increase in members of the public wanting to keep their own hens or other farm animals. It's possible that farms could be approached by people asking to buy their animals. Please do not sell, or give away, any animals to members of the public. Taking on a farm animal as a pet is a huge commitment. They require special 

care and accommodation which many people are unable to offer. Any member wishing to rehome their animals should contact us for support and advice.

From the RSPCA 

For more information on what the RSPCA is doing in response to Covid-19 please visit RSPCA.org.uk.

20 March 2020

Future planning

We are currently working with our certificating body on a temporary desktop solution for all species and livestock production stages. We will keep all members updated on this as information becomes available.

Likewise, the RSPCA FAD (Farm Animals Department) is working on a solution for the farm livestock monitoring visits which will also be communicated in due course.

Updating your contingency plans
It is important to keep your Emergency Contingency plans up to date at this time. 

Care for your wellbeing
We value your wellbeing as much as we do the welfare of your animals. If you have any concerns about being isolated or poorly and therefore unable to look after your livestock 

please contact us. Over the next two weeks, an assessor will be in contact to offer support and guidance and check on the wellbeing of you, your staff and your livestock.

Network Support
In these difficult and unprecedented times, remember that the Farming Community Network is there if you need to talk. Their number is 0300 111 999

Can animals spread the Coronavirus?

There's currently no reason to believe that pets can be carriers of Coronavirus or can become ill from it themselves, however, your pets may be impacted if you or any members of your family test positive for the virus.

While in this case, we are talking about domestic pets, there is no reason to believe that the Coronavirus can be spread through farm animals.

16 March 2020

Contacting RSPCA Assured by post
During this time, where possible please email us rather than send anything in the post to head office. Any items posted will be processed, but will be subject to a significant delay which could impact your certification (e.g. corrective evidence).

Please note that payment by cheques will still be accepted, however, will be subject to a delay in processing. Therefore we request where possible, that all payments are made by BACS with your membership number used as the reference to avoid any interruption/delay to your certificate.

Contact RSPCA Assured

Further information

Date: 11 Mar 2020