3 March 2000

Closing ring loophole

ATTEMPTS by some auctioneers to cut farmers costs by selling slaughter sheep through the store ring will be thwarted if proposals which are out to consultation are implemented.

Store lambs currently avoid the Meat and Livestock Commission promotional levy of 32p a head, unlike lambs sold through the prime ring. But the MLC is proposing that the charge should apply provided stores are slaughtered in Great Britain.

It would be paid by slaughterers who could then recover it from the auctioneers, who could then try to claim it back from sellers.

According to the MLCs David Croston, the growing scale of levy-avoidance by using store rings for slaughter stock could deprive the MLC of large sums of money in tended for promotional work. &#42