18 February 2000

More moves to transparency

FURTHER moves to improve transparency in the price paid for cattle are to be put before MAFF and Intervention Board officials, says the Livestock Marketing Alliance.

It wants clarification on whether all abattoirs killing over 20,000 cattle a year have to automatically report prices paid for cattle dressed to a standard specification, rather than some continuing to use a company specification.

"We are aware that several UK companies handling this volume of cattle have not been asked by MAFF to do so – and worse still some of these are dressing outside officially recognised templates which allow them to strip more off the carcass," said Norman Bagley, LMA chairman.

The alliance is continuing its efforts to ensure that company specification – which can often prevent like-for-like comparisons between abattoir pricing being made – is not used in any major plants.

It also wants hip suspension of carcasses stopped to allow Intervention Board officials to assess whether conformation has been graded accurately. &#42