25 February 1999
Hygiene Service firm on clipping

By FWi staff

MEAT Hygiene Service (MHS) officials have refused to bow to farmer pressure and allow dirty cattle to be clipped in abattoirs after slaughter rather than before.

The dangers faced by farmers when clipping the bellies of live animals prompted the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) to request the procedure be done after slaughter.

But the MHS replied saying there was likely to be an unacceptable risk of carcasses being contaminated if animals were clipped in abattoirs.

“We were told that the operation would not be sanctioned within any Scottish abattoir,” said SAMW president Alan Kirkwood.

“We were told that there would be an additional risk of airborne pathogens being released through such an operation.”

An MHS spokesman said he sympathised with the difficulties of belly-clipping live animals but added that moving the process into abattoirs wasnt feasible.

Doing so “would be a damaging backward step” for an industry which had established supreme hygiene standards within meat plants, he said.