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NFU Disappointment at BSE Testing Cost Decision

04 February 2009

UK - The NFU has expressed disappointment at the decision by a number of large meat processors to inform producers they will be making a charge to cover the cost of BSE testing for cattle over 48 months of age.

Alistair Mackintosh, the NFU's livestock board chairman, said: "We were opposed to the cost of testing being passed from the Government to the industry and we're extremely disappointed that the cost is now being passed directly to the primary producer.

"We have long argued for greater transparency, sustainability and simplicity within red meat marketing and firmly believe any additional costs such as these are costs of production and, as a result, should be factored into the price paid to the producer.

"The price a farmer receives at an abattoir or auction market should be the actual price he receives and no further deductions should be taken off the invoice. We urge processors to urgently review this decision for the good of producers."

Mr Mackintosh said he supported and applauded the position adopted by a number of livestock markets across the country which had decided not to deduct a charge to cover the BSE testing cost on behalf of processors.

"We believe any increase in processing operating costs should be factored into the bid price at auction making the system far clearer for the seller," he said.


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