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STARTING TO BRING AN END TO TETHERED HOUSING SYSTEMS ON RED TRACTOR FARMS

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29 July 2021

Added 12 August 2021

Version 5 of Red Tractor standards, which come into force 1 November 2021, will start to bring an end to us allowing tethered housing systems for cattle of any age on Red Tractor Assured farms.

Over the past 20 years Red Tractor has worked hard to drive up standards in animal welfare.

Red Tractor is an independent source of assurance that shoppers know they can trust. As the industry looks towards the future, it can’t take this trust for granted, it must be more focused than ever on ensuring it is world leading in standards and making changes to align with customers and consumers expectations.

However, whilst not common in the UK, Red Tractor recognises that the practice of tethering cattle poses a reputational risk for the industry.

Following recommendations from the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) version 5 of Red Tractor standards, which come into force 1 November 2021, will bring an end to us allowing tethered housing systems for cattle of any age on  Red Tractor Assured farms.

Why are Red Tractor making this change?

Tethering severely restricts normal animal behaviour such as self-grooming and exercise, unless used for very short periods whilst husbandry procedures are being undertaken. Tie stalls also limit the amount of physical contact between animals which can cause distress plus there is epidemiologic research which has found a high prevalence of both lesions and lameness in cattle housed in tethered systems.

Red Tractor members who are still using a tethered housing system on their farm are invited to apply for a derogation if they are unable to make the necessary changes to their businesses before 1 November. The derogation application form can be found here.

Once a derogation has been granted

Red Tractor will visit all  members who have been granted a derogation during the housing period. The visit will look at the cattle and the challenges members face in moving away from a tethered housing system. The ambition is to gather on the ground intelligence about how prevalent tethering housing systems are with dairy and beef farmers, and, crucially what the barriers to their elimination are.

The assessment of all Red Tractor farmers who apply for a derogation is expected to be completed by Spring 2022 at which point Red Tractor will make a decision on setting the timescale for removing the derogations its members have been awarded.

 

In this section

Derogation application form

Key Contacts
Head Office

Assured Food Standard

5th Floor
100 Fenchurch Street
London
EC3 5JD

memberhelp@redtractor.org.uk

Licensing Enquiries

licensing@redtractor.org.uk

Certification Bodies

Contact for anything related to your membership including stickers

Lloyds Register

6 Redheughs Rigg

Edinburgh

EH12 9DQ

www.lr.org/uk

Email: redtractor-ca@lr.org

Telephone: 0131 335 6643

NSF Certification

Hanborough Business Park

Long Hanborough

Oxford

OX29 8SJ

www.nsf-foodeurope.com

Email: agriculture@nsf.org

Telephone: 01993 885610

SAI Global Assurance Services Ltd

PO Box 6236

Milton Keynes

MK1 9ES

www.saiglobal.com/assurance

Email: agrifood@saiglobal.com

Telephone: 01908 249973

NIFCC (Northern Ireland)

1A Lissue Walk

Lissue Industrial Estate (East)

Lisburn

Northern Ireland

BT28 2LU

www.nifcc.co.uk

Email: info@nifcc.co.uk

Telephone: 028 9263 3017

QWFC (RTA Dairy Only – Wales)

PO Box 8

Gorseland

North Road

Aberystwyth

SY23 2WB

www.wlbp.co.uk

Email: info@wlbp.co.uk

Telephone: 01970 636688