FABBL residency period is set to double to 180 days

15 February 2002

FABBL residency period is set to double to 180 days

By Andrew Shirley

CATTLE finishers have reacted angrily to news that the residency period required under the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb scheme has doubled to 180 days.

Most larger abattoirs require all animals to be assured to FABBL standards, and one Essex-based finisher said the move would cause a lot of aggravation. "People are going to kick up merry hell. If I buy a store animal in the spring I will now have to keep it for six months to get the 10p/kg FABBL premium. But most are actually ready in 90 days."

FABBL chief executive, Philippa Wiltshire, defended the new rules which will apply to animals slaughtered from the beginning of March 2003. "The new residency period was announced by Assured British Meat (which licenses FABBL and other assurers) in January and is a step towards assurance from birth which is what consumers are now demanding."

But she did admit it was unfortunate that FABBL members had heard the news before the organisation had been able to clarify the details with them. "Our newsletter listing all the changes is at the printers and will be sent out as soon as possible."

Furthermore, the 180-day period is not restricted to just one holding, added Mrs Wiltshire. "It can be shared as long as all the farms in the chain are FABBL assured." This did not satisfy the angry Essex farmer. "A lot of the store producers we use in the south-west wont come up to the FABBL specifications or wont want to bother with the extra paperwork. We already have total traceability but they still want more." &#42

Beefing up residency requirements… FABBL is changing its rules to develop a calf-to-fork assurance scheme.

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