NBA Supports Use Of VIA In Abattoirs

UK - The National Beef Association will work with all sections of the British beef industry to make sure that when VIA (video image analysis) classification machines are installed they deliver the much forecast grading consistency that is promised.
calendar icon 2 August 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

"VIA based classification will soon be used in commercial premises in Northern Ireland and information already gathered during a UK trial at a commercial abattoir in the Province indicates that it will be of benefit to everyone in the beef industry – as long as the system works correctly,” explained the NBA director, Kim Haywood.

“The Association has been active in Northern Ireland in making sure that the interests of the beef finisher, and everyone else affected by their use, is properly protected if a VIA machine should malfunction.”

“The NBA will work in the same way with ABP, which is prepared to pioneer VIA use in Britain if cross-referencing work at its plant in Perth, Scotland, is successful, because it believes that a properly installed, correctly monitored VIA system can deliver very welcome, consistently high classification and carcase dressing standards, across all processing plants on a cross-UK basis.”

The NBA has discussed problems surrounding the installation of VIA machines in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) with LMC, NIMEA, DARD and beef processors in Belfast and have taken particular note of the recent failure of auditors in one Irish plant to spot a camera breakdown that resulted in regular underpayments for some grades of cattle until flaws in carcase scanning capacity were corrected.

It will also insist that when VIA machines are installed for commercial use in Northern Ireland, the payment grid is revised so that feeders do not face sudden, unusually heavy, discounts on plainer cattle, particularly heifers – as was the case in the RoI.

”We are aware that some finishers are apprehensive about the adoption of VIA technology. However the British beef farmer will have the benefit of lessons learned during commercial VIA operation in the Republic of Ireland over the last three years – and also from information yet to be discovered from its imminent take up in Northern Ireland,” Ms Haywood added.


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