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Processors clarify controversial movement penalty

Penalties for animals moved more than three times have prompted mixed opinions in the farm industry over recent weeks


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ABP and St Merryn said they applied a 10p/kg penalty to animals with more than four residencies
ABP and St Merryn said they applied a 10p/kg penalty to animals with more than four residencies

UK processors have moved to clarify controversial movement penalties being applied to beef cattle.

 

Dunbia has reportedly moved in line with other major processors by applying a 15p/kg penalty to cattle moved more than three times. Confusion about what defines a move has caused a storm in the farm industry in recent weeks.

 

Movements from farm to abattoir, linked holdings and moves to a holding under the same ownership will not count as a move, the NFU has said.

 

In a letter to Farmers Guardian this week (page 8), Charles Sercombe, livestock board chairman at the NFU, said common sense had prevailed.

 

FG contacted several major processors applying movement limits to cattle, with ABP and St Merryn saying they had applied a 10p/kg penalty to animals with more than four residences for several years.

 

A spokesman for ABP said: “A move is defined as a transfer from one farm to another, either directly or via a livestock market or collection centre, or from farm to the abattoir which may also be via a collection centre.”

 

A spokesman for St Merryn said: “Cattle which arrive at St Merryn and have been resident on more than four farms [not under same ownership and farm assurance, taken from passport information] are subject to 10p/kg [deductions].”

 

Dunbia did not respond, but FG understands the penalty also applies to cattle which have been on more than four farms.


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