Working Together to Maximise OCDS Throughputs

UK - The NFU has insisted the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) writes to all Older Cattle Disposal Scheme (OCDS) abattoirs and auction marts stating that any producers who can provide ear tag numbers of cattle for disposal must take priority over block bookings.
calendar icon 23 September 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

The RPA letter explains that those livestock keepers who have the correct information - ear tag numbers of the cattle they wish to enter into the scheme - must take preference over block bookings when it comes to registering their animals for the OCDS.

The RPA also reminds abattoirs and auction marts that they must not turn away firm bookings when they have no way of knowing if their block bookings can be filled and that there is a requirement of the whole industry to work together to maximise the throughputs of the OCDS.

The booking in system closes on September 30 2008. This allows keepers to gain compensation for their cattle if they are booked in, presented and slaughtered before December 31 2008.

Any pre 1996 cattle remaining in the national herd after December 31 will have to be BSE tested when they die or are killed on farm and there is no guarantee that the current free over-24-month BSE collection scheme for fallen bovine will operate past the first few months of 2009. This means all fallen bovine remaining after the end of the current scheme will have to be collected off farm at a cost to producers.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: "Producers having problems should try all possible routes, direct to the abattoir, via the market or asking to be put on waiting list. However, it is vitally important that the ear tag numbers of the animals concerned are given at all times. The RPA has a system which will filter out duplicated entries but this does require the ear tag numbers, so there is every chance that producers could get animals into the OCDS before it closes.

"Defra and the RPA have confirmed that there will be no replacement scheme for the OCDS, so it is important that livestock keepers book their pre 1996 cattle in now or risk losing out on compensation if they leave it too late. The NFU is working extremely hard with other stakeholders to lobby ministers and Defra to get additional funding to keep these anticipated collection and disposal costs as low as possible for producers."

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