By FWi staff

CLAIMS being made to the Office of Fair Trading that super-large abattoirs operate a cartel to control prime cattle prices could get support from Northern Irelands Committee for Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

According to Harry Marquess, the National Beef Associations NI chairman, the committee has heard that a common complaint among the provinces producers concerns price fixing.

It now wants to see evidence of how the five top plants influence cattle values and will act to ensure free trade is safeguarded.

The findings of the committee could be used in submission to the OFT, suggests the NBA.