5 September 1997

OTMS cattle barred from domestic use

FARMERS will no longer be able to have cattle over 30-months old slaughtered for their domestic consumption. The move follows new government rules aimed at preventing any risk of meat destined for the farmers consumption being sold on.

The rule change means that all red meat animals killed in slaughterhouses must undergo full meat inspection and health marking, even if the carcases are to be returned to the owners for their own consumption.

And farmers will no longer be able to claim beef back from OTM cattle, removing any risk of it being illegally sold for human consumption, MAFF said.

A ministry spokesman said there was no evidence that farmers had been abusing the system. But, nonetheless, the previous "private kill" situation did present a potential loophole in safety controls. &#42