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Good news for cattle farmers as BSE testing age is lifted

October 1, 2008 11:43 AM

Tim on a quad bike on a hill farmSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed news that EU is finally set to lift the age at which cattle are tested for BSE from 30 months to 48 months.

Mr Farron has been one of those calling for this move in order to remove unnecessary restrictions on the farming industry. He is relieved that the European Food Standards Agency has agreed that there is no significant risk from raising the limit.

The raising of the age limit means that animals that go into the food chain before they reach 48 months will not need to be tested. This will remove significant unnecessary costs from the beef sector. It will also remove a layer of bureaucracy.

The recommendation is yet to be formally ratified, but it is expected that the new rules could be in force as soon as January.

There will remain some anomalies; for example, animals that go into the food chain between 30 and 48 months will need to have their spinal column removed after slaughter which could add costs and complications for later finishing animals. This is a matter that must still be addressed. Nevertheless, this move is on the whole very welcome.

Tim said: "This news will come as a relief to beef farmers locally. It has taken many years of pressure to get this concession and the NFU and other farmers groups deserve real credit for keeping up the fight. This move means that, for once, farmers could see their costs go down which is a very welcome change!"