6 September 1996

Intervention for store cattle?

STORE cattle could be destined for intervention this month, after the introduction of a new scheme for lightweight animals.

Animals under 10 months old, weighing 300kg liveweight or more, can now go into intervention at prices 23% above the finished cattle level. The new rules – which apply to the two tenders in September – are intended to further cut the amount of beef hitting the open market.

But industry reaction has been lukewarm.

An ABP spokesman said that, with a possible beef shortage looming after the various culling and calf slaughter schemes, killing such cattle was a retrograde step.

And abattoir owner John Dawkins said: "It is killing tomorrows future, at a time when we should be concentrating on taking finished beef off todays market."

The most recent round of intervention, meanwhile, saw 210t of British bull beef accepted, at a maximum price of 182p/kg. In the case of steer meat, 2203t was accepted at prices up to 194p/kg. &#42