THE LIBERAL Democrats have pointed out that it is ridiculous that people are give longer to register the birth of a baby than they are to register the birth of a calf.

Shadow DEFRA secretary Andrew George said it was absurd that cattle had to be registered within 27 days whereas human beings had to be registered within 42 days.

Mr George said he wanted to see “reasonable flexibility” introduced so farmers who missed the deadline by a matter of a day could get their animals registered.

Currently, if a farmer puts in a late application the British Cattle Movement Service refuses to issue a passport which means the animal is virtually worthless.

Late applications should be accepted and passports provided, if a farmer is prepared to meet the additional expense of completing the necessary vet certification and DNA test, said Mr George.

“I appreciate the government has set the 27 day deadline at the maximum the EU regulation will allow.

“However, may hundreds of cattle are left as worthless as a result of a draconian interpretation of the rules.

“Perfectly healthy calves will have no market value and are unnecessarily slaughtered because of these restrictions.”