December 31, 2008

UK beef sector to save costs on BSE testing limit change


The UK beef sector is expected to save about GBP1.1 million per year due to the cattle testing limit being raised to 48 months.

The new limit would be imposed on January 1, 2009, said the Assembly Government. The change would cut the number of BSE tests by as many as 100,000.

However, this reduced surveillance coincides with the end of the government-funded collection and disposal service for fallen cattle aged over 48-months old.

From January 12 onward, producers have to make their own arrangements via an approved BSE sampling site.

The UK government will continue to pay for sampling and testing costs, while the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSC) has been given GBP2 million to subsidise disposal in the first year of the changes.

This indicates an initial 20-percent discount will be available to NFSCo members on 48-month collection bills, dropping to 5 percent by December next year.

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