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Uruguay Focus On Export Markets And Quality Meat

17 August 2010

URUGUAY - The National Meat Institute (INAC) has approved the first protocol of good animal husbandry practices, seeking to recover the Uruguayan exports lost from not having such requirements in place, as well as improving meat quality.

For markets like the European Union, this issue could become a non-tariff barrier, reports El Pais.

A recent study conducted between INAC, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) and the University of Colorado in the US, suggested that the Uruguayan meat chain lost about US$47 million annually.

It was estimated that US$30 million of this was lost through damaged meat, which occurrs when cattle are crushed or beaten during transport, misapplied injections and meat found to be high in acidity. In total, each producer failed to earn $20 per animal sent to the processor.

"We hope that this protocol will enhance the meat market and give more added value as well as traceability," said the president of the National Meat Institute (INAC), Luis Alfredo Fratti, justifying the initiative.

"What we're doing is giving producers improved conditions which should be carried out, but after that it depends on the individuals. This certification can be extremely important in the European Union, who will pay more for our meat. It is not a complete remedy, but an option to improve market opportunities, "he said.

"A series of requirements are specified in the protocol, that the three main sectors (farm, transport, processing plant) must meet. These requirements include: beef production and management, training of personnel, transport, and processing. The requirements aim at promoting good animal management practices throughout the production chain.

The technical publication, launched by the Directorate of Development Control and Quality, is called "Animal Welfare: Its role in the production of quality meat". One of its authors, Fernando Rovira, explained that it includes several international experts in animal welfare, but also contains the opinions of Uruguayan transport specialists, producers and agribusinesses.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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