A livestock mart based in Northern Ireland has moved to tighten its policy on selling cattle that have been treated for parasites in advance of sales.
Crossmaglen Livestock Sales in Co. Armagh took to social media recently to highlight a recurring issue with the sale of cattle at the mart and outlined the new policy it is putting in place to address said issue.
The post from the livestock mart said there has been a couple of incidents recently where farmers have sold stock that were dosed in the previous weeks, and hadn’t announced that until after the sale.
Speaking to Agriland, Crossmaglen Mart manager Donal McEneaney said:
“Farmers are very particular when – in the calendar year – they dose animals.
“Many of the factory buyers want to know if cattle have antibiotics or dosing in them before they buy and sometimes, farmers don’t think to mention this before selling.
“If cattle have received antibiotics or parasite treatments, it should be announced in the market that ‘this animal has been dosed on X date’ [and that] ‘the withdrawal period is this’.
“That way, the bidder can buy the animal knowing the withdrawal date, if any. So it suits the buyer and helps to cover the mart and the seller.”
Many products used to treat parasites on livestock have withdrawal periods, meaning the meat or milk from that animal cannot enter the food chain for a given period of time. This is also the case when using antibiotics to treat livestock for illnesses caused from bacterial infections.
Some products have longer withdrawal times than others, hence why it is essential that the date of the treatment issued is recorded.
Under the mart’s new policy, the following is required:
- Any animal that has been dosed within the previous two months must be notified to management before the sale;
- Where an animal has been dosed, the name of the dosing and the withdrawal period must be provided;
- The seller must have the exact date the dose was administered. If this is not presented, the farmer will need to take back the animal(s) at their own cost and pay any expenses accrued.
This will provide clarity to farmers buying forward and finished-type cattle, as well as dairy cattle at sales, ensuring that all withdrawal periods are being fully adhered to before sending subsequent produce from the livestock for processing.
McEneaney also told Agriland that cattle numbers at the sale generally ease up in July and said numbers tend to pick back up again in August.
The mart manager said trade at the moment is very strong, with a 380kg continental calf making £1,140 or £3/kg.
“Fat cows are selling from £1,800 to £2,000, it’s prices you’d never have seen for cattle,” he said.
“With beef cattle, there’s no good beef animal opening at under £1,800 nearly.”
Crossmaglen Mart will host its next general cattle sale on Saturday, July 23.