06 August 1998
SLF worried by EU cattle clampdown

THE Scottish Landowners Federation has expressed strong reservations about cattle passports and the traceability system.

Michael Gibson, chairman, said the demands of the British Cattle Movement Service would consume time and resources at “a high and significant cost” to beef and dairy farmers.

The new rules on registration of cattle births, deaths and movements come into effect on 28 September this year and farmers have been warned they must be ready for it.

But Mr Gibson said he did not think it was clear when new cattle passport applications have to be completed. He said he was “alarmed” by the new penalties for failure to comply and regarded the limit of one single week to tag animals after birth as “unworkable”.

Producers found to be in error face restrictions on buying and selling cattle until their holding has been inspected. This could force some out of business, or else, cause financial problems.

Mr Gibson said the proposals also raised concerns about the health and safety of stockmen and cattle.

It is estimated the cattle information service will record about 20 million births, deaths and movements each year. The details will be held on a central database at Workington, Cumbria.