Reminder to farmers to keep older cattle out of the food chain

UK - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) wishes to remind farmers that cattle born, reared or imported into the UK before 1 August 1996 are excluded from the food chain.
calendar icon 12 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

On 7 November 2005 cattle aged over thirty months and born on or after 1 August 1996 were allowed back into the food chain subject to BSE testing.

A DARD spokesperson said: "Since 7 November last year farmers across the UK have sent over 180 cattle born before 1 August 1996 for slaughter for human consumption. None of these cattle have entered the food chain."

This is a serious matter. UK consumers and our EU trading partners expect farmers to keep cattle born or reared in the UK before 1 August 1996 out of the food chain. To do otherwise risks undermining confidence in the beef industry.

Farmers are urged to remember the importance of double checking the birth dates of cattle. Cattle born or reared in the UK before 1 August 1996 must only be sent for slaughter under the Older Cattle Disposal Scheme (OCDS) where compensation will be paid. Cattle born or reared in the UK before 1 August 1996 presented at a slaughterhouse for human consumption will be killed and destroyed without compensation.

Cattle born and reared in another Member State prior to 1 August 1996 and imported into the UK after this date are eligible to enter the food chain.

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