Videos show importance of sending clean livestock to slaughter

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Two new videos produced by the industry’s levy board AHDB Beef & Lamb have been designed to showcase the importance of presenting clean livestock at the time of slaughter. 

The informative videos, one for beef and one for lamb, highlight the danger dirt and faeces can present when transferred from the hide or wool of an animal during meat processing. This hazard can increase with dirtier stock.

“Livestock producers are ultimately meat producers and we need to work together as an industry to ensure the food we produce is safe to eat,” said Liz Ford, north west regional manager for AHDB Beef & Lamb.

A vet allowed animals that would be deemed unacceptably dirty to be filmed for the purpose of the videos. Under regular circumstances, the featured animals would undergo intervention at the abattoir, such as extra cleaning or clipping. This is usually done at a cost to the farmer.

“Presenting clean, dry and appropriately clipped livestock is an important part of the process and these videos demonstrate the potential danger of not doing so,” added Ford. “As well as food safety, it can have a financial impact for producers.”

The main purpose of these educational videos is to raise awareness surrounding food safety. Pathogens, such as E.coli and salmonella, which are carried in the guts of infected animals, can cause foodborne illnesses in humans if the faeces are transferred onto sterile carcase meat.

Dirty stock can also potentially have an impact on the financial return to the producer. Contaminated meat is trimmed away, reducing the weight of the carcase and, subsequently, the price paid.

The videos from AHDB Beef & Lamb can be seen below.

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