An alleged breach of rules by a few cattle exhibitors at last month’s National All Breeds Show (NABS) has forced the implementation of stricter showing rules. 

The use of teat sealants to artificially improve udder conformation in the ring was banned on welfare grounds from the 2011 show by Dairy Event and Livestock Show organiser the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

However, according to RABDF chief executive Nick Everington, who incorporated NABS into the Dairy Event and Livestock Show for the first time this year, this rule was flouted by a small number of exhibitors.

“The new rulings [this year] banned all forms of teat sealant which were supported by the British Cattle Veterinary Association with agreement from Holstein UK. Unfortunately, those rulings were flouted by a minority of exhibitors at the event,” he said. 

“We were pleased to receive confirmation this week from Holstein UK that its board of directors has agreed to change Holstein UK’s show ring rulings to preclude teat sealing as an acceptable practice from January 2012.”

Commenting on the decision, Holstein UK’s marketing and membership executive Simon Gee said it would not tolerate any rule breaking. 

“Holstein UK do not agree with the use of any form of teat sealant to artificially improve udder conformation in the show ring. Following the matter at NABS, Holstein UK Board has made the decision to amend HUK rules to be in line with RABDF show ring rules. 

“If we find members have flouted the rules and have sufficient evidence, disciplinary action will be taken by HUK and the case will be heard by a rules committee, which could result in the accused being fined or banned from showing,” he said.