Farmers have been warned changes to rules on sheep splitting thought to have been implemented from January 1 have yet to come into effect.
Last year, the National Sheep Association (NSA) and NFU celebrated changes which they said could save the industry millions, by using a fixed cut-off date of June 30 to age lambs instead of checking teeth.
But a Cornish farmer has warned others the new system was not yet in place after suffering a £40 ‘penalty’ as an old season lamb was classified as a mature sheep.
Ian Scott said his understanding was the organisations had ‘got this sorted’, but after speaking with them he discovered the changes had not yet been implemented by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Mr Scott said: “The abattoir is aware there has been talk from NFU and NSA that they will no longer need to penalise producers, but they have seen no formal paperwork.”
An old season lamb Mr Scott took to the abattoir was classed as a mature sheep as it had teeth, meaning the price dropped from £4.10/kg to £2/kg.
The FSA said the changes had yet to be implemented because key issues still needed to be agreed by all parties.
A spokesperson said: “It is vital for the industry that the adoption of any new system is accepted by other countries which import lamb meat from the UK.
“Additionally, the process for adopting the new system and resolving non-compliance issues has to be agreed and in place before changes are implemented.
“We are continuing to work closely with industry, devolved administrations and other Government departments to implement these changes as soon as possible.”