The OCDS closes on 31 December 2008, which means that from 1 January 2009, there will be no compensation available for the disposal of cattle born or imported into the UK before 1 August 1996.
Pre 1996 cattle are also subject to BSE testing under current legislation. Until 31 December, this will continue to be carried out by those abattoirs operating under the OCDS.Until 11 January 2009 the current free fallen stock service will operate for cattle that have died or been killed on farm. BSE testing of eligible fallen stock (which from 1 January will include all pre August 1996 animals) will continue to be free of charge.
However from 12 January 2009, arrangements for the collection, disposal and testing of all pre 1996 cattle must be made at a cost to the producer. This can be done through a local approved collector or via the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo).
Failure to ensure correct testing and disposal of pre 1996 animals is an offence under the TSE regulations.
EBLEX regional project manager Liz Ford said: "Farmers need to ensure they are aware of these changes in legislation, and the change in the charging regime from 12 January onwards.
"It is a criminal offence to present a pre 1996 animal for slaughter at a food chain abattoir, and farmers doing so could risk prosecution."