31 May 2002

Suckler research need

THE British beef industry will lag behind its competitors unless more research into suckler herd management is begun, according to the National Beef Association.

Speaking at Beef 2002, NBA research and development committee chairman, Richard Fuller, called for more research funding. "There are fears that funds will soon dry up, as MLC has run out of cash and DEFRA has changed the emphasis from primary production to the environment.

"Without research, the industry will stagnate and be forced to rely on overseas work. We would prefer UK specific work to allow the industry to effectively compete with other countries."

One solution could be to focus on the benefits of extensively managed cattle on the environment and consumer health. It maybe possible to secure funding for projects which satisfy DEFRAs environmental objectives and maintain UK competitiveness, said Mr Fuller.

Enlisting environmental bodies and those interested in beef production may create a new pool of research funding. &#42