‘Beef farmers should lobby MEPs over movement rules’

The National Beef Association (NBA) is urging all beef farmers to lobby their MEPs for more leniency when it comes to passports and ear tags.

Speaking at Beef Expo, NBA assistant director Joanne Pugh said the organisation had been in discussion with the RPA about on farm inspections for animal passports and movements.

“They have told us the stance is that if you realise you have an error, tell them about it straight away because it’s better than them finding out for themselves,” she said.

The association’s Duff Burrell added: “The RPA is trying with the CAP reform to change the rules with regards the proportion of errors allowed. There is an effort being made to change it, but it’s quite important that individual farmers lobby their MEPs on this issue.”

Other issues on the NBA’s agenda are listed below:

  • CAP reform: Ms Pugh said the association is very concerned about greening proposals and would be lobbying for more clarification on permanent pasture proposals.
  • Bovine TB: Ms Pugh warned against farmers having to pay for their own TB tests and the removal of reactors. “We have to seize the opportunity to drive forward a fully encompassing TB plan, and I would urge all farmers to participate in the debate,” she said.
  • Processing rules: the association warned against the impact of new European rules which prevent the separation of meat from ruminant bones – this must now be labelled as “mechanically separated meat”.
  • Bovine EID: Ms Pugh said the association was conscious of discussions at EU level for a voluntary approach to bovine EID. “We see huge problems by operating two systems – paper and electronic,” she said.
  • NBA Scotland and SPCA: the association is in discussions to form one beef organisation for Scotland.

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