LMCNI Weekly Cattle Review: Industry Awaits Results

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - At the time of going to print with this week’s LMC Bulletin the PCB test results for cattle had not yet been finalised.
calendar icon 15 December 2008
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Without these results it is very difficult for LMC to comment on the implications for the beef industry, although we have been providing some comment for the media and handling industry and customer enquiries. The greatest industry concern at the moment would be the potential for a product recall. At the time of writing it is encouraging to note that test results from the Republic of Ireland have not indicated the need for a product recall from the output of their industry,and we do not expect the NI test results will be substantially different. However, until the results are available, we must act cautiously. We hope that the officials from FSA and DARD will have more information for us as soon as possible.

We must recognise the considerable benefit of our traceability systems if some herds emerge that have consumed contaminated feeds giving PCB levels above the legal limits. We will be able to restrict the animals in those herds from entering the food chain, maintaining the confidence of the customer and consumer.

Whatever the results of the tests,LMC will continue to communicate to consumers and trade both in domestic and export markets the importance of red meat in a balanced diet and the great strengths of our beef industry. It is at times like these that the importance of robust traceability systems comes to the fore in reassuring consumers and trade partners alike. Given that concerns originally arose in pork, LMC would recommend that all meat should be subject to the rigour of traceability and labelling that currently applies to beef. Furthermore, this should apply both in retail and the foodservice environments.

In the meantime LMC would like to remind farmers that under the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme, bought in animal feed must come from a certified assured feed supplier or hold a warranty that is fit for purpose. LMC would like to emphasise that those beef farms restricted awaiting results who are members of the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme have been fully compliant with the standard in buying feed from UFAS approved suppliers and obtaining the appropriate declarations of warranty.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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