30,000 'dirty' cattle unfit for slaughter

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Photo: Tom Burke
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Photo: Tom Burke

The number of cattle deemed unfit for slaughter because of hide condition has grown from 17,376 to 29,246 over the last three years, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture. This stock comes primarily from feedlots.

Meat Industry Ireland said the problem of dirty cattle would have to be addressed, whether the cattle came from feedlots or not.

New information leaflets on clean cattle and sheep will be launched by Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, at the National Ploughing Championships this week.

It is understood that the Teagsasc leaflets will outline best practice with regard to presenting clean livestock at slaughter.

The Department is also launching a consultation process on a new clean livestock policy (CLP) for sheep.

The Department has stressed that movement on the issue will have to be agreed by all industry stakeholders.

"An effective CLP is very important not just in terms of basic food safety but also as a reputational issue for Ireland's meat industry and to safeguard our ongoing major export trade in meat and hides," it stated.

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