Britain's cattle identification and movement tracking system is muddled and misses many thousands of animals, adding cost to the beef production and marketing chain, but the government is now promising early action to ensure comprehensive coverage. Work will start this summer on bringing details of all cattle into the official national database. This should ultimately help processors and retailers in line with Nick Brown's drive to cut red tape and make procurement and traceability simpler and cheaper. But industry insiders still worry about data processing incompatibilities and lax recording disciplines. {{MEAT }}