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Ultrasound scanning during Covid19 restrictions - Update 20th May 2020

Update for Signet Clients – Provision of Ultrasound Scanning

In March I wrote to clients to say we were having to withdraw our ultrasound scanning services from farms due to advice that was emerging with regard to the Covid19 outbreak.

In the light of changes in Government policy and a review of the way we deliver our service – we are taking the first tentative steps to get staff back onto farms. I would remind clients that Signet’s breeding analyses can still be provided in the absence of scanning data, using a “weights only” service; an approach we strongly recommend this year for older or potentially vulnerable clients.

Ultrasound Scanning within 125 miles of a technician

For those clients that wish to use the service, we can currently provide it for clients located within 125 miles of our Technicians (postcode and contact details are provided in this link). We are not currently scanning further afield, due to the elevated risk when staying away from home and current closure of suitable hotels. This decision will be reviewed in time and as government advice changes.

We ask all clients to read our updated operating procedures and to forward a disclaimer (word or pdf) or similar email acknowledgement that you have read our conditions. Specifically these include:-

  • ensuring that 2 metre distancing can be adhered to; as Technician do not plan to routinely wear face masks when scanning. We recognise this may require handling systems to be modified.
  • adequate water is available for thorough disinfection and cleaning of kit. Staff will bring soap and sanitiser.
  • farm staff are free of Covid19 and children/vulnerable adults are not present
  • any change in the Covid19 status of farm staff within the next 14 days is notified to Signet

We are aware this decision simply applies to clients in England and Wales. Clients in Scotland and Northern Ireland already use freelance technicians, whom they can contact directly for further advice.

I understand access to this service will come too late for many of the early lambing flocks – but for those that are interested and within 125 mile of a technician – please contact your local technician directly to book an appointment. 

About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding