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27 Mar 2020

Holstein UK Group Coronavirus Statement

We find ourselves in uncharted territory with the ongoing health crisis surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19. We are doing all we can to continue providing vital services to our members but obviously we have had to make serious changes to our business over the last few weeks. In light of new Government Guidance please see below an update on all areas of the business and how they have been affected by the current situation.


REGISTRATION

The Holstein UK call centre is still open and is currently running under normal working hours. All our operators are now based at home but we do not envisage any issues to the normal service at this point in time. Due to a skeleton team based at the office we are still able to post registration certificates if requested, however we cannot guarantee that this will not change over the coming weeks and we will notify members if this changes.


TYPE CLASSIFICATION 

For the safety of our members and our staff we have made the decision to suspended Type Classification with immediate effect with the exception of TB valuations. Our classifiers will still be available on their mobiles to discuss any queries and to talk through services should you wish to do so. If you are in need of a TB valuation please contact our Head of Breed Development Meurig James on 07860 438510 to organise.


EAR TAG ORDERING & GENOMIC/PARENTAGE ANALYSIS

It is our understanding from all our service providers that they are all still currently operating business as usual, however due to the situation changing on a daily basis this may be subject to change. Much of this service provision is reliant on the postal service and we cannot foresee if this may become an issue going forward. We would recommend to all our members that they allow plenty of time for delivery when placing orders.


THE CATTLE INFORMATION SERVICE

To protect the health of our employees, contract milk recorders, our customers and consumers we are having to make changes to our CIS provision.  We are still aiming to provide a milk recording service, however our preferred option at this time is to offer a DIY milk recording service, we understand though that this will be difficult for some.  If the milk recorder and farmer are satisfied that they can meet the required conditions below assisted milk recordings can go ahead.

  • Customer and milk recorder give mutual consent to carry out an on farm milk recording.
  • All milk recording equipment will be disinfected before going onto and leaving farm.
  • Milk Recorders will ensure all biosecurity measures are carried out.
  • Hot water and washing facilities are available for milk recorders to wash hands, and wellingtons.
  • Social distancing requirements are adhered to.
  • Time spent on farm and face to face interaction is kept to a minimum.

CIS milk recording and health testing is an essential service to support food production and the health of not only consumers but herds, with services such as PregCheck minimising on farm visits.  Our laboratory and transport system for milk samples will continue to operate unless government advice changes or we have a reason to shut the premises due to illness. Whilst we are able to continue analysing samples and processing results, we understand there maybe disruption in the postal system, so we would recommend that farmers review the results online.

Your local Area Manager will contact you prior to your next milk recording date to ascertain your milk recording requirements during this difficult time.

In the meantime, if you have any queries please call 01923 695319 or email info@thecis.co.uk


EVENTS

Sadly, due to the ongoing situation we have had to postpone a number of our events planned over the coming months. Please see below a list of the events affected.

POSTPONED Premier Herd Open Day (Thursday 25th June 2020)

The Premier Herd Open Day has been postponed. It is our intention that the Premier Herd Open day will still be held at some point over the next 12 months. We will advise of the new date when it has been agreed.

POSTPONED HYB Training Days

All HYB regional training days due to take place over the next few weeks have been postponed until further notice.

POSTPONED Holstein UK Celebration (Tuesday 30th June – Wednesday 1st July 2020)

The Holstein Celebration (Shropshire) has been postponed. It is our hope that we will be able to host a Celebration in Shropshire at some point over the next 12 months. We will be individually contacting all members currently booked for this event to discuss their booking. Any members that wish to cancel will receive a refund in full. 

POSTPONED Holstein Young Breeders Rally (Friday 14th – Sunday 16th August 2020)

The Holstein Young Breeders Rally (Shropshire) has now been postponed to 2021. We will be confirming dates over the coming weeks and we will update you as soon as this has been agreed. Clubs due to hold future rallies over the coming years are being contacted to discuss the options.

Holstein UK AGM (Wednesday 1st July 2020)

It is clear that due to the current situation we will not be able to hold our Holstein UK AGM in the traditional format. We have consulted with the charitiy commission as to our legal obligations and the options of how we provide an AGM under the current circumstances. It is likely at this point in time that the AGM will have to be done via paper and we will be communicating over the current weeks as to how this will work. 

More information about how Coronavirus is effecting the UK can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Further help, support and advice can be found here: www.holstein-uk.org/member-services/help-and-support

 

Sue Cope, CEO of Holstein UK

24 March 2020