Several of the larger abattoirs have started penalising beef producers for supplying cattle that have been moved more than three times during their lifetime. Finishers are therefore asking auction marts to display details of the number of movements for cattle when they are selling them at market.
The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) is calling on the abattoirs to clarify exactly what constitutes a movement and agree it between themselves.
Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the LAA, said: “Finishers around the ring will understandably want to know how many times the stores they are buying have moved during their lifetime so as to avoid a deduction when they sell them on to the abattoir.”But we need to know what the abattoirs consider a movement to be. We know that moves through markets and to abattoirs don’t count, but is the move to a different CPH the same as a change in keepership?”
“Auctioneers are keen to disseminate information that adds value to an animal at the time of sale, and to assist buyers around the ring in determining whether the livestock they are bidding on are suitable for their purposes. But they can’t afford to provide information that is potentially different to what’s looked for further down the chain, and that leads to a deadweight deduction at the abattoir. Until we get clarity, marts will not announce the number of moves animals have completed. Abattoirs need to communicate their needs clearly and consistently as the marts are not prepared to be responsible for potential charges or compensation payments due to errors outside of their control.”