New guide helps producers reduce livestock losses

A new guide has been developed to help beef and sheep producers use disease information recorded during inspection at the abattoir as a tool for assessing the health and welfare of their livestock on farm.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has produced the abattoir post-mortem conditions guide to give livestock producers more information about the conditions inspected in the abattoir of their carcases and offal. It will also help them use the data, together with their vets, to identify and address problem areas, especially when animals do not show any symptoms.

AHDB, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and industry have been working in partnership to improve the collection of post-mortem data at abattoirs in England and Wales. The rationalised conditions, recorded at post-mortem, for sheep and cattle are covered in the abattoir guide.

Ouafa Doxon, AHDB Beef & Lamb Collection and Communication of Inspection Results Project Manager, said: “Good use of post-mortem data can lead to better returns for producers by improving productivity and minimising the losses of saleable meat and offal. The guide gives an in-depth overview of the conditions, such as liver fluke, liver abscess and pneumonia. The booklet also contains information on the possible impact on productivity, and how to minimise future losses.

“Producers are encouraged to discuss post-mortem results received from the abattoir with their vet, so they are able to develop a strategy that helps protect the health of their herd or flock and reduces production losses both on farm and throughout the supply chain.”
Producers can download a copy of the leaflet from the AHDB Beef & Lamb website or request a hard copy by emailing

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.