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Government announce consultation for sheep carcass classification

The Government has announced a consultation that will propose a carcass classification and price reporting system for sheep in England to become a national requirement for all abattoirs slaughtering more than 1,000 sheep per week.

Titled ‘Fairness in the supply chain: Consultation on changes to carcase classification and price reporting by abattoirs in England,’ the consultation will also seek views on requiring abattoirs to publish their schedules to improve transparency.

Defra say that changes to carcase classification by abattoirs in England would improve fairness and price transparency for producers in the livestock sector are to be consulted on following the government’s response to the Groceries Code Adjudicator call for evidence, which closed earlier this year.

Under EU rules, carcase classification has been mandatory in commercial-scale abattoirs in the beef and pig sectors for many years.

However, for sheep, classification is non-mandatory meaning that sheep farmers have incomplete information on the classification of their sheep.

Classification will be undertaken by qualified assessors, and producers will receive the results of the classification process.

This will help ensure that producers receive consistent information on the classification of their sheep, and are paid per animal in a fair and transparent way.

Richard Findlay, livestock chair of the National Farmers Union backs the consultation into the fairness in the supply chain.

Using the NFU’s Twitter page, he said: “The Defra consultation on fairness in the supply chain is a great win for NFU following lots of hard work from my predecessors.

The consultation will run until August 23.

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