Jonathan: Just off the phone with Animal Health, Inverness. Results from the government laboratory report that Tolsta Faolan was not suffering from Scrapie. That’s a huge relief for the authorities, no doubt. I’m not sure what it means for us. Had it been Scrapie, the source of the problem would have been unequivocal – the breeder. However as it is the result simply poses more questions – ones that can’t easily be answered. The tests showed that that Tolsta Faolan had Encephilitis caused by Listeriosis.That’s damage to the brain caused by bacteria which live in the soil or in infected feed: the most common source is contaminated silage. We don’t use silage, and the hay I’d been feeding Faolan and the wedders is just as it should be – dry, sweet and clean. And the sheep nuts also are in perfect condition. Incubation period is usually three weeks, so he must have been infected during early December, certainly after he came to Eriskay. It could have come from the soil, if he was ingesting soil along with grass – certainly the grass was by then short, though there’s no exposed soil. And what does it signify that the wedders have not contracted the disease? It’s difficult to know where this came from and how to respond, other than to redouble the ongoing effort to continually improve knowledge and skills of stockmanship. At least I don’t need to worry about the money: the government compensation should be adequate. But had he simply died from this, without the government vet seeing a justification for euthanasia, I would have got nothing at all.