Changes to the way beef carcass classes are to be split at this year's English Winter Fair, will make competition more open for finishers of cattle whether supplying independent butchers or larger retail abattoirs, organisers have announced.
The event, which has the only permanent on-site carcass hall of all livestock shows, has acted in response to calls from some exhibitors and increased cold carcass weights for bullocks to 400kg and heifers 380kg. The change is expected to encourage more producers supplying abattoirs tied to supermarket contracts that favour heavier animals to enter, explained an EWF spokesman.
"The focus of the competition remains on producing top-quality carcasses for the market. The age limit for cattle put forward for the competition remains unchanged at 30 months old," he added.
Other changes have also been made on how classes will be split between light and heavy carcasses for each section.
Instead of specified weight ranges, the total number of carcasses entered for each of the bullock and heifer classes will be split equally with the lowest half of all carcass weights forming a light class and the remainder a heavy class.
"Having listened to exhibitors, the EWF committee is hopeful that the rule changes will make the competition more inclusive for all finishers," added the spokesman.
This year's carcass competitions - those that include beef, lamb and pork classes - will be judged by Armitage, Staffordshire-based Nigel Coles.
The English Winter Fair is taking place on 17 and 18 Novemeber. Keep posted for all the livestock showing news on Taking Stock
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