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'We will consider all responses carefully' - Defra launches consultation on sheep ageing

There was disappointment after plans to introduce changes in time for the 2019 season were scrapped earlier this year.

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Defra launches consultation on sheep ageing

Defra has announced a new consultation on whether to introduce an alternative method for sheep ageing to dentition checks.

 

Sheep industry chiefs have been calling for changes which they say could save the industry millions of pounds.

 

Cut-off

 

They want a move to a cut-off date of June 30 to age lambs, instead of checking teeth meaning sheep sent for slaughter up to that date in the year after their birth would be treated as being under 12 months old.


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The consultation will last six weeks.

 

A Defra spokesperson said: “We are working closely with partners on introducing an optional alternative method of sheep ageing whilst maintaining the UK’s hard earned and world leading standards of biosecurity and animal health.

 

“Ministers are aware of the concerns from the sheep sector on this matter.

 

“That is why we are today launching a joint consultation with the Food Standards Agency and the Welsh Government on whether to introduce this optional alternative method of sheep ageing and on the detail of proposed implementation.

 

“We would encourage people to participate in the consultation and will consider all responses carefully.”

 

Farmers can fill in the consultation on the Government website here

National Sheep Association (NSA) chief executive Phil Stocker said: “NSA is pleased to see progress regarding carcase splitting and to see Defra continuing work on this issue despite other political events.

 

“While we recognise Brexit will have an impact on the implementation, we have confidence that this progress shows the change to carcase splitting regulations is achievable and NSA encourages everyone involved in the sheep industry to complete the consultation.”

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