RSPCA Assured has today announced a three-phased return to in-person farm assessments, in a bid to continue safeguarding the welfare of its members and their animals as Covid-19 restrictions ease.
From Monday 1 June, phase one of the plan will begin to roll out with members who are due an assessment being offered a physical in-person audit. These will only be carried out with the mutual agreement of both the assessor and member and will not be mandatory.
Strict social distancing measures will be observed by RSPCA Assured assessors, in line with the latest Government guidelines. To further safeguard the welfare of both assessors and members, the scheme has also developed its own ‘contactless’ guidelines for on-farm assessments. These include the following requirements:
Assessor to take their own temperature on the day of assessment
PPE, including face mask, to be worn by assessor throughout the visit
Assessor to use their own pen for signing paperwork
Member to prepare any paperwork, medicines and equipment in advance for assessor to review in a safe area away from other farm staff
Member to be asked to open all gates and doors for the assessor
Where in-person assessments are not possible, they will continue to be carried out via live streaming in line with the temporary measures that have been in place since Monday 27 April.
Commenting on the return to in-person assessments, Clive Brazier, CEO RSPCA Assured, said: “The welfare of the animals and producers in our scheme remains our priority. Members should be reassured that at every phase of our return to in-person assessments, we will be following the latest Government advice. If that advice means we have to go back a phase, then that’s what we will do.
“All of us at RSPCA Assured are impressed at how well our members have adjusted to virtual audits during this challenging time. I hope news of our plan to return to ‘normal’, shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this difficult time by continuing to work together.”