Salford beefs up bully boys to tag rogues

May 31, 1996

A beef "police force" is to be trained by University College, Salford, which has been asked by the ministry of agriculture to help catch farmers trying to avoid the compulsory slaughtering of older livestock.

The college said staff at the school of food studies had agreed and validated a course in a matter of days, a process which normally takes three months, after receiving a "government emergency call" to help to try to beat the BSE crisis.

"With the European beef ban such an issue the college pulled out all the stops," said Harold Rudder, school head and course leader.

The new tier of meat technicians is being trained to follow ear-tagged cattle through the slaughtering process and to weed out rogue livestock and carcasses if farmers try to claim their beasts beat the age barrier.

"The technicians are responsible to vets and meat inspectors and have an important role to play in ensuring that animals' ear tagging is traceable," Mr Rudder said.

"The new system is designed to ensure that no banned offal products and cattle aged over 30 months enter the food chain."

An agriculture ministry official said: "Salford is helping with the programme to recruit more inspectors and technicians to deal with the current situation. UCS is a recognised centre of excellence in food studies and agreed to organise the special course at short notice."

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