28 August 1998

Demand to clarify cattle age proof

THE Livestock Auctioneers Assoc- iation has called on the Meat Hygiene Service to clarify its position on whether dentition or Cattle Identification Documents provide definitive proof of an animals age.

The call followed reports that cattle with four to six permanent incisors were being rejected for human consumption in abattoirs despite being accompanied by a valid CID proving that they were under 30-months-old.

John Martin, LAA secretary, said: "We would like the producer to be contacted if there is a question mark over an animals age because once the animal has reached the abattoir it cannot be submitted for the over 30-month scheme. Therefore, rejection at this late stage means the loss in value is total," said Mr Martin.

An MHS spokesman said if details were supplied by farmers on specific cases where CIDs had been overruled then the ministry would investigate. &#42