English beef carcass quality continues to improve according to the latest figures from EBLEX. MLC classification reports show that 48% of prime beef carcasses are meeting the “R4L or better” specification, demonstrating improved breeding and herd management.

Improvements in leanness and conformation are also noted in steers and heifers. Steers increased from 2% to 49% for “R4L or better” and heifers up 1% to 43%. Only young bulls suffered a decline in conformation.

In 2007 50% of all classes of carcass met the “R or better” target, while 90% of steers and 80% of heifers met the “4L or leaner” target for finish.

Improvements in carcass weights were also seen, with steers 4kg heavier at 34kg, bulls 3kg heavier at 330kg and heifers 2kg heavier at 299kg.

But, with more than half the carcasses failing to meet the preferred conformation and leanness, there remains room for improvement.