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Thu 5 March 2015

Following on from a recent article by Katie Morris on Lifetime Assurance for Cattle, I now am urging all Farmers to respond to the Red Tractor Lifetime Assurance Consultation. You can do this by completing the attached Consultation Response Form which needs to be completed and sent by 27th March 2015.


As a livestock auctioneer I am not against the principles of Lifetime Assurance on Cattle, however at present there is no electronic system to check if an animal is farm assured at any time in its lifetime and therefore the scheme at present cannot work until Full Bovine EID and a fully workable database is in place which could be sometime in 2020. If the scheme is brought in now it will put cost burden on farmers, buyers, livestock markets and abattoirs. This cost as we know will only be placed back on the producers. Even if you are farm assured already it will also place cost burden on you.

Individual animal assurance is only achievable if and when the industry is provided with a suitable database from which markets and abattoirs can electronically check animal lifetime assurance status. Such a database is in the early stages of development, but it will be several years before it is delivered.

As an auctioneer I do not support the recommendation that Farm Assured feeders can only buy Assured stores. This will be restrictive on trade and create a two tier market, preventing many feeders from buying non-assured animals, even if they have non-assured outlets to which they could supply these cattle when finished. We all know that when Store finishers come to buy a load of cattle they wish to fill their lorry on one day to save costs. Creating a two tier market in a diminishing Suckler Cow area will not help this. It seems that this proposal is not consumer driven at all as Red Tractor suggests but driven by the big players who want a shorter connection and contract with the farmer to eventually lower the price.

Please reply to the Consultation……this is your industry.


Jenny Layton Mills

Auctioneer Knighton Market

Red Tractor Assurance consultation on Lifetime Assured Beef


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