Cattle farmers warned over movement restrictions

Reporter:

Mark Lingard

A MOVEMENT restriction on older cattle has been introduced, Powys cattle farmers have been  warned

Cattle born or reared in the UK before August 1, 1996, have had new movement restrictions placed on them, Powys County Council has warned.

The restrictions have been placed as an extra precaution against meat from these older cattle entering the food chain following a Government investigation into whether any illegal trade in these cattle has occurred.

The council's Trading Standards Service is now warning the cattle farmers in Powys of the new movement restrictions and Defra has written to the 18,000 keepers of animals of this age to inform them of the measures.

Cllr Graham Brown, Board Member responsible for Public Protection, said: "Controls to prevent these animals from entering the food chain are already strong.  It is illegal to slaughter pre-1996 animals for food, and specified risk material such as brain and spinal cord is removed from all cattle after slaughter.

"In addition, any cattle aged over 48 months are tested for BSE after slaughter and only those that test negative are allowed into the food chain."

Ken Yorston, the council's Trading Standards manager, said: "Due to the illegal activity by a few individuals, it has been necessary for Defra to introduce these restrictions.  The cattle industry has worked hard over the years to ensure British beef regained the good reputation it deserves, both at home and abroad.

"This reputation has to be maintained so it is a sensible move to introduce this extra safeguard.  It shouldn't have much impact on most cattle keepers but it will give additional confidence that these animals don't enter the food chain."

Relevant livestock keepers are being informed that no cattle born or reared in the UK before August 1996 will be allowed to move from their holdings without an individual movement licence, and no licences will be granted to move these cattle to markets or through dealers.  In practice, this should affect a relatively small number of owners.

For more information, contact your local Trading Standards on Brecon 01874 623420; Llandrindod Wells 01597 826032; Newtown 01686 617524, email trading.standards@powys.gov.uk or visit www.powys.gov.uk/tradingstandards
 

See full story in the County Times

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