21 March 1997

Slaughter orders behind schedule

PROVISIONAL slaughter orders for cattle identified as BSE cohorts for the selective cull are taking longer than expected to reach farms.

According to reports received by FW some producers have been waiting a month, after a MAFF vet visit, for the provisional slaughter orders to be processed at the central vet unit, Tolworth.

MAFF has no set target for issuing provisional slaughter orders, but says it is aiming to issue them within five days of the MAFF vet visit. And it admits that initially the process has been slower with provisional slaughter orders being sent out in one to one-and-a-half weeks.

A total of 1299 animals are reported to have had provisional slaughter orders.

Valuations have started and the first slaughterings should take place this week.