Abattoirs should provide post mortem clipping services, says NFU

The NFU has called for abattoirs in England and Wales to introduce a post mortem clipping service, after a survey revealed the extent of the injuries sustained through carrying out the procedure on farm.

The report revealed 60% of respondents felt that clipping cattle was an extremely dangerous activity, with 57% reporting injuries sustained during the process, usually bruising or sprains, although broken limbs and dislocated shoulders also featured. A worrying 15% reported head injuries.

There was an overwhelming support for post mortem clipping with 85% of those asked saying they would like abattoirs to carry out the procedure.

NFU livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: “This survey highlights how dangerous cattle clipping is. Livestock farmers always strive to produce clean animals for slaughter, but adverse weather conditions can lead to a shortage of bedding materials, which means occasionally cattle need to be clipped.

“We recognise that not all plants would be able to provide this service due to scale of operation, layout of the plant and so on.

“Any costs that may be associated with the service should be taken in an open and transparent manner, kept to a minimum, and only applied to those farmers requesting post mortem clipping.

“We will be sharing our findings with the relative industry bodies to discuss how we can progress this issue and ensure a safer working environment for our members.”

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