Mistakes could be costly for exports

FARMERS who mistakenly present older cattle for use in the food chain are not only risking prosecution but putting the whole of the UK industry's future export prospects in peril.

The warning comes from EBLEX following news that, since changes to the Over Thirty Month rule in November last year, 41 animals born prior to August 1996 had been presented for use in the food chain. Breaches of the rules could leave a producer at risk of a heavy fine.

Richard Ali, EBLEX Chief Executive, said: "The last thing we want to see is any of our producers facing prosecution for making this kind of mistake so I would urge them to take great care checking passport details - especially with older animals. Were any of these animals to get into to food chain - and none have to date - it could cause us great difficulty in getting the regulations lifted which have stopped our exports to Europe for so long."