Two legs good, four legs possible

A couple of days ago, a notification supposedly dated 21 November 2018 appeared for the very first time in the Facebook group for members of a certain translators’ association. I am quite certain I should have received such a thing in my inbox, but my Spam folder says no.

While I am a member of the translators’ association, I am not a member of the Facebook group. In Portugal, a rather strange system of replacing the entire executive committee en bloc occurs, unlike in other countries where the chairperson of an association might reach the end of his or her term of office, while the rest of the committee still has a couple of years to go, say.

In any case, the one and only list of people putting themselves forward for the job of being the association’s executive committee have a declared programme of action it intends to pursue. It is this list of people, with its intended “to do” list, which someone forwarded to me.

I am sure that I am not permitted to flash the whole thing before your eyes, but apparently, this committee, if elected, are going to carry out all sorts of activities they have arranged in a bulleted list, “com vista à correta transposição da Diretiva 2014/64/UE do Parlamento Europeu e do Conselho para a legislação nacional, or, in English, “with a view to the proper transposition of Directive 2014/64/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council into national law”. 

That sounds all very wonderful, until you look up the said Directive, to try and figure out how the proposed committee’s first five objectives, if achieved, are going to have any influence on Portuguese legislation.

It becomes as clear as the proverbial mud in the preamble:

(1) A Diretiva 64/432/CEE do Conselho (3) aplica-se ao comércio de bovinos e suínos na União. A referida diretiva prevê que a autoridade competente de um Estado-Membro possa introduzir um sistema de redes de vigilância. Tais redes são compostas por uma base de dados informatizada que deve incluir, pelo menos, determinados elementos previstos na Diretiva 64/432/CEE, incluindo o código de identificação de cada animal

The Directive in English says the following:

(1) Council Directive 64/432/EEC (3) applies to trade in bovine animals and swine within the Union. It provides that the competent authority in a Member State may introduce a system of surveillance networks. Those networks include a computer database which is to contain, as a minimum, a number of elements laid down in Directive 64/432/EEC, including the identification code of each animal.

I daren’t rejoin that Facebook group for members, and point out this anomaly. I might be shot for sticking my head above the parapet, or someone might have my guts for garters. Or, for the deviant behaviour of having actually read all the garbage published, I might be labelled a cow, and have an identification code slapped on me for RFID purposes later. No thanks!

©2018 Allison Wright

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