19 January 1996

Professional scanners call

CATTLE producers should reconsider employing untrained operators to pregnancy diagnose stock using scanning ultrasound.

Devon vet Richard Sibley, who is secretary and British Veterinary Association (BVA) council representative for the British Cattle Veterinary Association voiced his disapproval in London last week.

He said cows experienced increased stress levels for such people lacked an intimate knowledge of animal anatomy and biology. The situation was causing serious concern amongst practioners both in the UK and Europe.

"It is incredible any person without any training is able to pick up technical equipment," he said. "Trained professionals are quicker and more careful at the job which is less traumatic for the cow. They also have the ability to note any adverse signs and avoid repeat operations.

"There is also a risk of disease transmission between animals and farms. Untrained operators have been known to give further advice and we have to consider the protection of the client.

A farmer will only know whether the scanner is any good through bitter experience and there is no redress when anything goes wrong."