Auctioneers call for national cattle database to safeguard health

Livestock auctioneers have called for the introduction of a national cattle database to record the health status of animals in the UK.

Chairman of the Livestock Auctioneers Association Robert Addison said a database would give the immediate health status of cattle being sold through markets.

Speaking at a meeting of auctioneers and livestock industry representatives in London on 21 February, Mr Addison said a database would add to transparency on the health status of animals sold through markets and would also help to promote the health and wellbeing of stock being sold.

“It would be of great benefit to anyone involved in the buying and selling of livestock, but would also be immensely helpful in the implementation of disease control policies,” Mr Addison said.

Chris Dodds, LAA executive secretary, said auctioneers were keen to be involved in a scheme that enabled markets to give accurate and current animal health status at the time of sale.

“Auctioneers have a key role to play in this, but we need the tools to do it. A national database, which could be accessed only with the consent of the vendor, would help the industry as a whole keep track of diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, bovine viral diarrhoea, infectious bovine rhinitis and leptospirosis.

“It would be a valuable marketing tool for the vendor, and give buyers extra confidence that they are bidding for healthy animals,” he said.

“A database would provide a trustworthy source of information, be beneficial to welfare and add to the traceability of animals being sold. The LAA is keen to help lead the field in bringing the industry together to deliver this,” he said.

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