Farmer backlash over controversial NBA beef proposals

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A number of farmers have threatened to quit the National Beef Association (NBA) over a controversial report which recommended redefining the age of prime cattle to improve the industry’s carbon footprint.

A major row erupted after details of the report, published in Farmers Guardian, proposed the definition of prime cattle should be restricted to animals below 28 months old and that a ‘carbon tax’ should be introduced for animals slaughtered above that age.

Cumbria farmer and NBA member John Atkinson branded the proposal ‘bonkers’. He said: “It puts one side of the beef industry against the other and the maths did not add up.”

Another farmer angered by the report was Joe Hope, a part-time ecologist from Machynlleth, Wales.

He added: “There are already costs associated with keeping animals for longer, especially with the 30-month cut off, so the last thing we need is another penalty when a lot of the reason we are doing down this route is for ecology and environmental benefits.”

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