28 February 1997

First stock for selective cull

FIRST cattle involved in the selective cull were due to be slaughtered today (Fri) in Northern Ireland.

As FW went to Press (Wed) an Intervention Board official said 300 cattle had been allocated to abattoirs in the province and would be slaughtered either today or at the start of next week.

But slaughtering in Britain will not begin until Mar 10 at the earliest, she said. Northern Irelands computerised traceability system meant that finding the cohorts of BSE cases was relatively easy. The British system, which relied on a paper chase, would take longer.

The IB has so far received confirmation of 40 cattle on five British farms where movement restrictions are in place and compensation terms have been agreed. The official said that more cohorts had been identified and were "in the system", waiting for final agreements to be reached between the farmers and government. &#42