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Livestock Industry Pushes For Fast Track To Abattoirs

by 5m Editor
9 August 2007, at 5:29am

UK - The livestock industry hopes a scheme to allow stock to go directly from farm to slaughter may be introduced by the end of the week.

Taking precautions: A worker disinfects Hexham Cattle Market, in Northumberland. Yesterday's market was cancelled

Industry bodies are in talks with Government officials to try and bring a swift - but safe - end to the ban on animal movements.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was praised for imposing the standstill as soon as the Surrey foot-and-mouth outbreak started. But it is costing the industry millions a day with a ban on exports, closed livestock markets, and abattoirs beginning to run out of supplies.

Tony Thompson, senior auctioneer at the £5.5m Thirsk mart, which opened last October, understood the proposed scheme could be operating by the end of the week, with markets acting as collection centres a short time later.

Tomorrow's cancelled fatstock sale at Thirsk would have featured 500 to 600 cattle; 1,000 to 1,500 sheep and 150 pigs. The turnover would have been about £500,000.

Stephen Walker, auctioneer at Leyburn mart, said today's cancelled sale would have featured 1,200 to 1,500 prime lambs generating a turnover of £60,000 to £70,000. advertisementThe lambs are still in fields, with the danger they will miss their market.

Source: The Northern Echo

5m Editor