Bull beef production is rising sharply in the UK, causing unease in parts of the retailing and slaughtering sectors. Producers and their political allies objecting to the reported surge of inward shipments, especially from Germany, claim this meat is of "low quality" because it is from bull carcases. Yet before the latest scare started, the British industry was itself debating the pros and cons of a major expansion in the bull beef sector. The idea was to use the bull calf by-products of the dairy sector as import replacement raw material for meat product manufacture. Critics knew there would be strong resistance to extra bull beef supply being forced on the fresh meat retail and catering trades. By late last year it had become apparent there would be no boom in production of dairy bred bulls for further processing. Nevertheless, MAFF's latest estimates show bull slaughterings up nearly half from 12 months ago, now accounting for about 16% of the adult cattle kill. At first sight this means the UK bull kill could soar this year to above the 1996 peak of almost 400,000 head, implying market turmoil as the continental supplies pour in. {{M/E MEAT }}

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