1. Cancer eye.  The rules for transporting cows with cancer eye have altered recently.  Provided the cancer is confined to the eye and/or eyelid, is up to 2cm in diameter and is not bleeding or discharging then it can be transported to the works.  An animal with lesions between 2 - 3cm that is not bleeding or discharging can go at the owner’s risk.  Cattle with lesions over 3cm in diameter, any involving the whole eye or that have extended into the surrounding tissue, those discharging pus or which may haemorrhage cannot be sent.  This means many cases that were once thought suitable for transport and slaughter no longer are.  Hence once you see a cancer eye don’t delay in contacting us to see if it can go to the works otherwise the chances of it being able to go are much reduced.


2. Lame Animals.  The rules state that an animal must be able to bear weight on all four limbs.  We are often asked to certify animals that do not fit the criteria and cannot help if they cannot go.  I have had a couple of smacks on the hand over the years for siding a bit too far in the farmer’s financial favour so can’t do that again or I shall be shot and sent to the Russian front.


Note that we certify animals as fit for transport, which means we give an opinion that a specific animal can be transported safely with due regard to its welfare.  We do not certify it fit for human consumption – that is for works vets and meat inspectors to ascertain.


Written by John Smart BVSc

Extract from May 2008 - Sheep Newsletter