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Stackyard News Apr 07

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    DNA Testing Assists Late Passport Appeals

The DNA testing route for English producers to appeal against the refusal of late cattle passport applications introduced in this month’s new Cattle Identification Regulations could make major inroads into the unnecessary wastage of valuable beef resources, believes the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).


Indeed, with BCMS estimating around 24,000 animals could currently take advantage of testing to secure a passport by verifying their dams, the new appeal option could help save more than £11 million at present average slaughter weights and market prices.

Although the estimated £60-80/animal cost of DNA testing through approved laboratories is not cheap and the involvement of a veterinary surgeon is required, it looks like being a cost effective investment for many.

The new option, which started on 6 April 2007, is being run by BCMS in tandem with its original appeals system for all animals that have had passports refused through late application, regardless of how long ago. The dam of the animal concerned does, however, have to be alive.

While the option is not available where passports have been refused for reasons other than late application, it can be taken up after an unsuccessful appeal under the original system.

Tests need to be based on hair or blood samples taken from both the animal and its dam by a licensed veterinary surgeon who must sign the official DNA test form the confirming details of the animal and sampling.

They can only be conducted by a laboratory approved by BCMS, with all test and vet’s costs borne by the producer. The new regulations specifically rule out refunds, regardless of test result, together with any case for compensation.

To help producers decide whether to incur the testing expense, all applications for a DNA-based appeal will be checked by BCMS in advance to ensure there is a good chance of the passport being issued if the test positive confirms the parentage.

BCMS expects the new route will increase the volume of appeal cases, especially in the next year or so given its availability for late application passport refusals since the 2003 tightening of the registration system.

By law, cattle producers must apply for a passport for every animal. To save themselves both the cost of DNA testing and the time and worry of appeals, EBLEX urges producers to redouble their efforts to ensure all passport applications are lodged within the legal deadline of 27 days from birth, submitting them even if some dam details are not immediately available.

Producers wanting further information should contact the BCMS Appeals Team via the BCMS Helpline on 0845 050 1234.

link UK Cattle Breeding Stock Exports Hit £1m
link Calf Registrations Recover with Export Market
link Welshpool Charolais Bulls bid to 5,800gns

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