29 March 1996

High costs of feed ban

BANNING mammalian meat and bone meal from all animal feed (including pigs and poultry) will cost the rendering industry an estimated £80m, according to the Meat and Livestock Commission.

This could knock about £80/t off the value of slaughter cattle, though there could be some government aid, says director general Colin Maclean.

"The latest control measures are proportionate to the level of the problem," he says. "Deboning all cattle over 30 months old is a good decision. And because there have been cases of BSE after the ruminant offal ban, the extension to all feedstuffs is a reasoned response."

But the dissection of 30-month-old cows will have a disruptive effect on industry. Some plants have no boning facilities so the cows will have to be moved around the country. "That alone is going to costs several million pounds," says Mr Maclean. &#42