This week we received a text from NHS Englands track and trace department, that said our household needed to self isolate. We had been in contact with someone who had since tested positive for Corona Virus. But what should happen to the animals we own?
For those of you reading this who aren’t aware, we own a 4 acre smallholding. It’s approximately a 5-minute drive from our home address. Its where we keep chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese etc.
As soon as I received the text message, I went online and looked to see what advice the government give in situations such as this, it can (at the time of writing) be found here.
The most important to us is the section on ‘Horse, Livestock and Other Animals’. It looks as though the government has written this to be about ‘horses’ with little or no thought for people in our situation.
The main advice they give, is to contact your yard manager or local vet to make suitable animal welfare arrangements. Unfortunately, we don’t have a yard manager, and my local vet would love to charge me £££ for visiting twice a day to see to my flock. No doubt they will also find a need to sell me lotions and potions.
It then goes on to say:
If you have livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, or any other types of livestock or kept animals such as alpacas, you should arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating to care for your animals.
Yup. Perfect. That solves all our issues. But, truthfully, it doesn’t. The only other people who know what to do with my animals, live with me, in my household, and have been told to self isolate. I do have friends and family nearby, but have never approached the issue of training them, as its never been needed, and I change things so often. Within 2 months of me showing someone how to deal with our smallholding, things would have changed.
But, in the government advice is the one line that means, even if you are having to self isolate, you can still go and visit your smallholding, and look after your animals:
Where this is not possible, you should ensure the basic needs of your animals are met.
It then gives some basic advice that we all should know. Stay 2 metres away from others, and wash your hands. So for us, even though we are having to self isolate, we can still attend and care for our animals, as we are ensuring their basic needs are met.
If you do get CV, and are too ill to attend, then the NHS helpers may be able to assist. They have text us, and asked if we need anything. Whilst we are OK, if in a sticky situation, they may know someone, who knows someone, who may be able to help.
Stay safe out there, and be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube for the latest farm updates.