Watch out for FCI, industry warned

The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) is urging farmers and hauliers in England and Wales to ensure they meet the new Food Chain Information (FCI) regulation when sending cattle, sheep and goats to market.

Legislation coming in on 1 January will require slaughterhouse operators to request, receive, check and act upon FCI for all cattle, sheep and goats sent for slaughter for human consumption.

LAA chairman Alastair Sneddon said it meant producers would have to sign a form stating that all the animals sent to market for slaughter were free from disease and fit for human consumption, along with any withdrawal periods - in addition to all the other ID and movement declarations.

However, producers should be aware that it is merely the requirement to complete the form that is new; their responsibilities regarding stock being fit for the food chain are unchanged, he said.

Markets will not be able to accept animals that are being sold for slaughter that are not covered by these statements, because they will be ultimately responsible for supplying the information to the abattoirs.

Sneddon said markets in England and Wales were putting new systems in place to make it easier for farmers to comply with the rules and urged producers who were unsure about the changes to contact their local livestock auction marts.

Similar regulations were introduced for poultry in 2006, pigs in 2008 and calves and horses in 2009.

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