Added 12 August 2021
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.
Assured Food Standard
100 Fenchurch Street
Contact for anything related to your membership including stickers
Lloyds RegisterTelephone: 0131 335 6643
Hanborough Business Park
SAI Global Assurance Services LtdTelephone: 01908 249973
NIFCC (Northern Ireland)
1A Lissue Walk
Lissue Industrial Estate (East)