At least 500t of good quality home-produced carcase beef are being compulsorily taken off the market and destroyed each week through the operation of the Over Thirty Month Scheme. This loss of valuable meat and the cattle price distortion caused by the OTMS explain the sense of frustration evident among dealers and processors when they see media reports implying older cattle are inherently dangerous. About 30,000 cattle per week are disposed of, well over half of them in England. Of this total, more than 1,500 are clean beef animals, most of potentially high value to retailers and further processors. This loss of good beasts has roughly doubled since last spring, said MLC beef market specialist Duncan Sinclair. His figures show the loss rate began rising sharply in September, suggesting the cause is the unfavourable weather and one effect is distortion of market prices. "There is just not enough time to buy the plain cattle and finish them properly before they run up against the 30-month limit." {{MEAT }}