Producing and distributing food – collection

The Beef Carcase Classification scheme: guidance

Anyone who operates a slaughterhouse handling bovine animals (cattle, bison or buffalo) must follow the rules on classifying carcases.

Contents

  1. Documents

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

If your business is in England or Wales and you slaughter more than 75 adult bovine animals per week (calculated on a rolling annual average basis), you must register with the Beef Carcase Classification (BCC) scheme. Under the BCC scheme, you must classify carcases according to EU-wide rules.

An adult bovine animal is an animal aged 8 months or over if it was slaughtered after 31 December 2013, or an animal with a live weight greater than 300 kg if it was slaughtered before 1 January 2014.

If you’re slaughtering fewer animals than this but want to classify beef carcases in the same way, you must register with the BCC scheme as a small-scale operator. If you don’t register, you can’t use the classification scales that apply to BCC scheme abattoirs. If you do register, you must use them for every adult beef carcase that you handle and comply with all the other scheme requirements as well.

Under the BCC scheme, beef abattoir operators must abide by regulations covering:

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

Relevant regulations

The Beef and Pig Carcase Classification (England) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1090) as amended by the Single Common Market Organisation (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3235)

The Beef and Pig Carcase Classification (Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1826 (W. 198)) as amended by the Beef and Pig Carcase Classification (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/948 (W. 125)) and by the Single Common Market Organisation (Consequential Amendments) (Wales) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3270 (W. 320))

Commission Regulation 1249/2008 as amended by Commission Implementing Regulation 994/2013 and Commission Implementing Regulation 148/2014

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