26 April 1996

No beef penalties

BRUSSELS has granted a concession to allow UK beef producers to withdraw individual animals from a beef special premium claim, without incurring penalties.

The problem some face is that, having already lodged BSP claims, they are required to retain their stock for two months. In some cases, this may result in animals going over the 30-month age limit, at which point they can no longer be used for food.

To qualify, the claim must have been lodged before Apr 15 and the animal must be at least 28 months old, but less than 30 months.

By getting out of the scheme and selling the animal quickly, producers can at least ensure their cattle go for human consumption. But they do forego the £93 a head BSP and, at todays depressed prices, it is doubtful they will be better off than if they completed the retention period and then entered their stock to the governments slaughter scheme. &#42