A WEST WALES farmer claims that a bureaucratic mistake almost cost him 1000 worth of Christmas sales of organic Welsh Black beef.

John James, Fferm Tyllwd, Felingwm-Uchaf, Carmarthenshire, received a cattle movement standstill notice the day after the last of four beasts went to the abattoir in time to hang their carcasses for three weeks before sale.

“In a letter I received on Dec 1 officials claimed that restriction was necessary because of the time that had elapsed since our last TB test, but the herd tested clear on Oct 5,” Mr James told Gareth Vaughan, president of the Farmers Union of Wales.

“The notice was incorrect, but if it had arrived a day earlier I would have been prevented from filling some special orders for Christmas. This could have seriously damaged our direct sales business, but there would have been no recompense.

“I think this is unfair and unacceptable when we have worked so hard to get our product right and to develop premium earning markets.”

A week later Mr James received acknowledgement of the clear test in Oct, but no apology for the stress caused.

Also Mr James told his visitor that he had received two registered letter claims for the return of 12p overpayment in subsidies, describing the demands as bureaucracy gone mad.