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The Beef Carcase Classification scheme: guidance

If you operate a slaughterhouse that handles bovine animals (cattle, bison or buffalo) as detailed below, you must follow the rules on classifying carcases.

To operate an abattoir in the UK you must get approval from the Food Standards Agency.

You must also register with the Beef Carcase Classification (BCC) scheme if all of the following apply:

  • your business is in England or Wales
  • you slaughter 150 (or more) bovine animals aged 8 months or over per week.

The number of animals per week is calculated on a rolling annual average basis.

Under the BCC scheme, you must classify carcases according to rules which are followed throughout the European Union (EU) and cover:

  • carcase dressing, weighing and labelling/marking
  • communicating the classification results to the supplier
  • record keeping
  • inspections, enforcement and penalties
  • licensing.

If you slaughter fewer than 150 bovine animals (aged 8 months or over) per week

If you slaughter fewer than 150 bovine animals (aged 8 months or over) per week but want to classify beef carcases you can register with the BCC scheme as a small-scale operator. If you do this you need to meet all the scheme requirements You can only use the European Union (EU) classification scales if you are registered with the scheme. Only a licensed classifier can carry out classification.

Read old guidance on the National Archives website

Relevant regulations

The Carcase Classification and Price Reporting (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1164)

The Carcase Classification and Price Reporting (Wales) Regulations 2018 (S.I. 2018 No. 1215(W0248)

Regulation 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1182 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184

Documents

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 29 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Text reviewed and updated
  2. First published.