A new automated tracing system that can recognise cattle that are eligible for minimal risk of BSE has been introduced for use in abattoirs.
The new system, commissioned by the Scottish Government and developed by ScotEID in partnership with industry and Food Standards Scotland, comes just three months after Scotland achieved the new “negligible” risk status for the disease.
It involves a checker using data from the Cattle Tracing System to show the BSE status of every animal and is more efficient than the manual checks in use.
Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing hailed the new system as great news for the meat sector.
“It ensures Scotland’s excellent animal health status remains high on the agenda,” he said.
The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers welcomed the new system as an important development.
Spokesman Ian Anderson said it was a fast, efficient and robust system which modernised the traditional methods of checking cattle ID and movement records. “It will allow our members to provide their customers with a reliable data source, contributing further to the world class image and provenance of Scotch beef,” he said.
“It is important for Scotland’s meat industry that we maintain maximum momentum in exercising the trading advantages we have over countries which currently don’t share our negligible risk status and the new checker will help us do that.”