29 November 1998
MAFF in clean-up campaign for finished beasts
DIRTY sheep and beef cattle are still being rejected at abattoirs, despite producers who take pride in producing clean animals for slaughter.
To combat the problem, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched two new booklets aimed at encouraging farmers to produce cleaner animals.
The booklets provide advice on diet, housing, health and welfare to help keep animals cleaner while finishing, said MAFFs Matt Carden.
They also include pictures for scoring animal cleanliness during finishing to assess whether more action is needed to avoid rejection at abattoirs.
Finishing sheep on roots or forage crops puts livestock at most risk of becoming wet and dirty, warns the booklet.
To reduce dirtiness, it advises dagging and worming before turning sheep on to roots or forage crops.
It also suggests giving sheep a grass run-back or straw as a lying area, introducing concentrates slowly and moving troughs frequently.
For housed cattle, space allowances, bedding and ventilation and a well balanced diet are critical.