Rules for collection centres ineffective

By Simon Wragg

AUCTIONEERS in England and Wales say new arrangements allowing markets to act as collection centres for store cattle and calves are largely unworkable and, as such, ineffective.

The main criticism of the rules, which only came into force last week despite being approved in September, is that markets can only send stock to one buyer on each day.

This prevents auctioneers from spreading the cost of running a collection centre – such as handling, administration, disinfection and veterinary inspection – to an acceptable level.

Glyn Owens of auctioneer McCartneys says red tape makes the collection centre idea “a total non-starter”.

Even so, the Meat and Livestock Commission reports the first store-cattle collection centre has already been in operation last week.

Dolgellau market, Gwynedd, co-ordinated the movement of 30 steers and heifers from five local farms to a buyer in Yorkshire, confirms auctioneer Glyn Jarrett.

“The biggest obstacle has been arranging on-farm vet inspections. These have to be carried out close together as farms have only 24 hours to get stores moved under licence and into market,” explains Mr Jarrett.


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