18 May 2001
MAFF launches collection centres

By FWi staff

THE Ministry of Agriculture has introduced a scheme to license collection centres for cattle and sheep being moved from farms to approved slaughterhouses.

Collecting centres will allow smaller consignments of animals to be received direct from farms and consolidated into larger loads

Many farmers who could not arrange transport to slaughterhouses, either due the small numbers or distance involved, can now do so, says MAFF.

It is hoped the scheme will help relieve backlogs on smaller farms caused by foot-and-mouth restrictions.

Local authorities can issue licences where they and the State Veterinary Service are satisfied that the collecting centre meets guidelines.

Peter Kingwill, chairman of the Livestock Auctioneers Association, said the centres will simply act as staging posts for deals done over the phone.

“Its a start, though it wont be the answer to everyones prayers,” he said.

Mr Kingwill hopes the move will pave the way to restart auction markets.

“Once we are up and running as collection centres and we can show vets we have a lot to offer as far as traceability is concerned, we should have a case to restart markets in low risk areas.”

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