Abattoirs ready – but first find out which ones

Anglo-Beef Products (ABP) Shrewsbury will be one of the first abattoirs in the country to open its doors to over-thirty-month cattle on Monday (7 Nov).

“We anticipate taking up to 100 cattle a day in the first week, building to 250 over time,” said company spokesman Alastair MacDougal.

“We will be killing clean cattle in the first part of the day, and then switching to OTMS at the end of the day.”

It was absolutely crucial that producers offered farm assured animals, and regular suppliers would get precedence.

“We will also be looking to the auction marts to top-up supplies,” he added.

“But it’s too early to talk about price. We’re all on a learning curve.”

As Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (2 Nov), AK Stoddarts in Glasgow and Highland Meats, Ayrshire, were the only two other factories approved, though there were more in the pipeline.

Association of Independent Meat Suppliers policy director Norman Bagley said many abattoirs would wait before “dipping their toes in the water”.

DEFRA is advising cattle keepers to contact their local abattoirs direct to establish whether they are approved for slaughtering OTM cattle, or are intending to get approval.

It is also publishing a list on the following web site: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/otm/review/guidance-otm.htm

Auctioneers are also gearing up to hold special OTM sales to supply abattoirs.