samedi 3 août 2013

La Paperasserie

With any flock of sheep comes a certain amount of paperwork.  Some of which is required for keeping track of  health, breeding and the flock in general. There are other formalities to ensure that state administrative requirements are met. In general once the systems are in place, the paperwork pretty much looks after itself and updating any changes within the flock is relatively straightforward. For the last three years generating any administrative paperwork to meet the requirements has been a logistical nightmare. The failure to foresee the difficulties associated with the introduction of electronic identification particularly in relation to the Ouessant sheep has meant that many flocks have gone three years without  the means to  satisfactorily identify animals. This has included animals coming in from outside flocks as well as lambs born to the holding.

What a farce! In addition national requirements for flock testing for brucellosis has meant that there is a REQUIREMENT to have animals properly identified to ensure it's possible to tally up blood results with individual sheep. Added complications of the national departmental databases which means each department generates its own system  including computerisation of records ordering and such has meant that  no generalised approach can be translated for every breeder.  In short the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, neither is it possible to co-ordinate  nationally a definative policy - resulting in a shambolic system with advocacy on behalf of the breeder sadly lacking.

Continual delays in the introduction of EID tags which are suitable for small breeds  of sheep has meant that the latest batch of yellow monstrosities arrived for my flock at the end of June. The first official tags for three years..... needless to say the work to bring the flock up to date has been frustrating and  what is rarely more than a nod towards administrative duties was a logistical nightmare to ensure that old and new numbers tally as did the actual sheep being tagged.

The flocks numbering system might be back on track in about three more years, the flock sports a variety of tags and  coloured lumps of plastic. I have no satisfactory system for identifying lambs that doesn't involve retagging at a later stage and still the sheep lose their tags and now ears in fences.

A congratulatory pat on the back for finally bringing in an alternative to cattle sized tags ............what price progress.

C'est la folie Ca y est, après trois ans le troupeau est à jour, ou moins. Félicitations   pour la situation d'aujourd'hui.


The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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