Cattle rejection conditions tested in abattoirs over two-week trial

A two-week trial is currently taking place in nine cattle abattoirs across England and Wales in order to validate a new list of post-mortem rejection conditions. 

The revised list of conditions, used by meat inspectors to decide whether all or part of a carcase should be rejected for human consumption, is part of a joint AHDB Beef & Lamb and Food Standards Agency (FSA) project to improve information exchange between livestock producers and processors.

The FSA-funded trial, which began on Monday 14 March, aims to validate a list of conditions agreed in January with the Collection and Communication of Inspection Results (CCIR) project cattle working group, which includes primary producers, processors, veterinarians, universities and government departments. The exercise follows a similar sheep trial that recently took place in 10 approved sheep abattoirs.

Ramon Romero, FSA programme lead, said: “I am very pleased with the results of the sheep validation trial. The feedback we have received to date will help ensure we deliver a new, fit-for-purpose approach to better support a more sustainable UK food system. However, we know that the devil is often in the detail, hence this week we have launched a cattle validation trial.

“I am confident that we are building a more robust platform to ensure conditions that relate to public or animal health, or animal welfare, are reported consistently and promptly to ensure the necessary action is taken. Ultimately, making this data into actionable knowledge will increase efficiency and sustainability in the industry.”

Ouafa Doxon, AHDB CCIR project manager, added: “Following the commencement of the abattoir trials, the focus of the project is now shifting to ensuring consistency in how producers receive CCIR, both directly from the processor and via the livestock market, and encouraging them to act on this data.

“It’s important to ensure the system is beneficial to the whole industry, so we will be seeking views from right along the supply chain.”

Agreement on the new post-mortem rejection conditions is expected to be reached by the end of March.

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