A shorthorn cattle farmer has pledged to fight Defra on its decision to remove the Shorthorn code from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).
Roy Collins of Hale Farm, Devon, who has been a member of the Shorthorn Society since the 1970s, said the removal of the SHO code would force him to use the dairy breed code at market, leaving him with a loss of between £50 and £100 per calf.
It would also mean the animals would be exempt from some retailer schemes.
“The only time Shorthorn can be used is by using beef, dairy or Whitebred,” said Mr Collins, who has 122 traditional Shorthorn cattle. “I have not labelled my cattle that ever.
“I have traditional Shorthorn which I milk but they are pure.
“People who blend their stock are quite happy to use the others terms but this is ridiculous.”
Since the move, Mr Collins had received three failed passports which he accused Defra of ‘not seeming to want to do anything about it’.
The farm had also received a notice of registration, he added.
He said: “The society has the legal rights to the word Shorthorn. It is ridiculous to take the oldest breed in the world off the list.”
A Defra spokesperson said FAnGR consulted with both of the major Shorthorn breed societies who agreed that farmers registering Shorthorn cattle would need to do so using the single breed code that ‘best matches the primary intended purpose of the animal in question’.
But breed secretary of the Dairy Shorthorn Society Ros Rimmer denied the group had been consulted.
She said: “It first came to our attention when some of our members rang and said the SHO code had been removed from the system.
“Certainly from our end we have not been consulted. The last time I spoke to Defra on the matter they said they had received a number of calls from unhappy members and it was something they were going to look into.”